LIVINGSTON, NJ – Livingston police officers arrested three individuals who were attempting to burglarize cars on Sheffield Court in the early hours of Thursday morning, two days after other attempted burglaries and one vehicle theft was reported in Livingston. In a separate incident earlier in the week, Livingston police arrested a Short Hills man in connection to an intentional motor vehicle crash on JFK Parkway.

At about 2:20 a.m. on Thursday, a Sheffield Court resident reported that three people attempted to enter three vehicles in his driveway that were all secured, then left empty handed to return to their vehicle. While some responding officers conducted a motor vehicle stop of a 2004 Chevy Malibu with three male occupants on Thames Drive, other officers reviewed surveillance video at the Sheffield Court home.

According to police, the vehicle occupants were confirmed to be the same people who attempted to enter the resident’s cars. Newark residents Elijah Lott, 21, Omar Shomari, 19, and a 16-year-old male were subsequently arrested.

Sign Up for Livingston Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Officers also located an abandoned 1999 Mercedes in the intersection at Thames and Westmount. According to police, the Mercedes was found to have been stolen from a Thames Drive home shortly before the trio was stopped by police.

Surveillance video from the victim’s home on Thames showed Lott entering the victim’s car and driving it from the house. According to police, the car was most likely abandoned because one of the tires went flat.

Stolen credit cards were found in the juvenile’s pocket and in the suspect vehicle. One card was stolen from an Elizabeth resident, and a second card was taken when the victim’s car was stolen in Woodbridge.

Lott was sent to county jail with charges of motor vehicle theft, conspiracy, attempt to commit burglary and credit card theft. Shomari, who was also sent to the county jail, was charged with conspiracy to commit motor vehicle theft and attempt to commit burglary. The juvenile was charged with attempt to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit motor vehicle theft and credit card theft and was released to a parent.

At approximately 8:24 a.m. on Tuesday, a resident of Putnam Road reported that a 2016 BMW had been stolen from the driveway, where it had been left unlocked with the key inside. The responding officer was able to activate the vehicle’s tracking system through BMW and located it parked behind an abandoned house in Newark. 

About an hour earlier on the same day, a Walnut Street resident called police to report that he observed a man dressed in black and wearing a mask enter a vehicle parked in the driveway. According to police, suspect then ran to a waiting black sedan and fled toward Route 10 when the resident attempted to confront the suspect.

The resident was able to confirm that the man had entered two vehicles in the driveway: a Mercedes and a Porsche. According to police, both cars were left unlocked, but nothing appeared to be missing.

Last week, Officer Adam McDavitt was on patrol as part of the West Essex Auto Theft Force and conducted a motor vehicle stop that led to the arrest of three adult and two juvenile males. In addition to discovering a quart-sized plastic bag containing marijuana along with packaging materials and paraphernalia, officers also discovered packages addressed to people other than the occupants of the car as well as several ski masks and gloves.

According to police, the ski masks and gloves were similar to those used by the late-night car burglars that have been frequenting the township over the last few weeks. Police are working to determine if any of the vehicle occupants are involved in the recent car thefts and burglaries.

The three adults arrested were identified as Anthony Haywood, 20, Hassan Salaam, 20, and Jyell Higgins, 19, all of Newark. The identity of the juveniles were withheld because of age. All were charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and were released.

The efforts of the West Essex Auto Theft Force led to several other arrests last week after reports of break-ins throughout the county. Read the full story HERE.

In other police news, a four-vehicle accident on Tuesday led to the arrest of a 28-year-old Short Hills man who was operating a 2012 Toyota Camry on JFK Parkway when he drove southbound, crossed over the cement island and continued south in the northbound lanes of JFK Parkway from South Orange Avenue.

In the process, the man collided with three vehicles: a 2017 Land Rover, a 2017 VW Jetta and a 2014 Nissan Altima. The 43-year-old New Providence resident who was operating the Land Rover was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Police said the driver of the Toyota Camry initially failed to stop after the collisions and continued south on JFK Parkway. He returned to the scene as police officers arrived.

Officers determined that the collisions were an intentional act by the driver, who was identified as Constantine Grvoyannis and arrested for multiple counts of assault, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

He was also charged with numerous motor vehicle offenses, according to police. The charges have been referred to the Essex County Prosecutors Office.

During Monday’s storm, the Livingston Fire Department responded to a report of lightning that struck a tree in the rear yard of 14 Bonnyview Drive, causing damage to the homeowner of 12 Bonnyview Drive’s lawn sprinkler control panel.  According to the fire department, further damage included a tree in the yard of 14 Bonnyview Drive, a fence at 12 Bonnyview Drive and the siding of 29 No Ashby Avenue.

The fire department also assisted in a power outage at the intersection of Passaic Avenue and So. Orange Avenue on Friday afternoon.

According to the chief’s office, a report came in about two poles that were sparking on Walnut Street. Upon arrival, there was no fire or sparking, but units discovered that a primary wire support had snapped, causing the primary wire to arc and trip circuit.  JCP&L was on scene for some time making repairs.