LIVINGSTON, NJ — Several vehicles were entered and four were stolen in Livingston between Feb. 25 and March 5, according to Livingston police, including one that was potentially involved in a shooting in the Newark area last week.
Two individuals were arrested on March 1 in connection with a 2017 Mercedes that was stolen out of the Livingston Mall parking lot in front of Barnes & Noble on Feb. 26. According to police, the owner of the vehicle was only gone for approximately 15 minutes, but returned to find his vehicle missing. Police said the vehicle was unlocked with the key fob inside.
A few days later, Livingston police were notified that Newark police were in pursuit of the same vehicle within their city limits following reports that it may have been involved in a shooting the same day. According to police, the pursuit went through a number of towns before the vehicle finally came to a stop on Garden State Parkway near Exit 150.
The vehicle was involved in multiple car accidents during this time, police said, including attempts to ram the pursuing police vehicles. When the vehicle stopped, both occupants jumped out and were later apprehended in the neighborhood. A loaded firearm was also found nearby.
Rajhan Smith, 21, and Knyan Esnnanson, 19, were taken into custody and remanded to the Essex County Jail. They were both charged with multiple criminal and motor vehicle violations, according to police. The investigation is continuing.
In addition to this incident, a 2017 Maserati was stolen on March 5 out of the parking lot of Jerusalem Restaurant in Livingston at approximately 11 a.m. while the owner was inside picking up his order. According to police, the car was left unlocked and running at the time. It was last seen heading east on Route 10.
Three days earlier, on March 2, two vehicles were stolen out of the parking lot at the Westminster Hotel at approximately 1:30 p.m. Both vehicles, a 2013 Bentley and 2017 Mercedes Benz C30, were unlocked with key fobs inside.
Two vehicles were also entered sometime overnight on Feb. 25 into Feb. 26 in a driveway on Thurston Avenue with some items taken. Police responded at approximately 3 p.m. the same day to a similar incident at the Toys R’ Us on Route 10, where some unknown actor(s) attempted to gain entry to a 2016 Dodge Challenger.
In the latter incident, there was damage to driver’s side lock, but no entry was gained, according to police. All incidents are under investigation.
Livingston police once again advised residents to take their key fobs and personal belongings with them when leaving the car at all times, as many of these incidents are occurring in the daytime.