LIVINGSTON, NJ — In the week since Livingston Police Chief Gary Marshuetz reported that the crime rate has decreased over the past few weeks in Livingston, officers have responded to multiple reports of stolen vehicles and attempted vehicle burglaries as well as a burglary at the Raceway gas station on South Orange Avenue.
At approximately 5:10 p.m. on March 30, Livingston police responded to a resident’s report that someone was trying to enter cars parked in the driveway of the Canoe Brook Drive home. According to police, the caller stated that the man had run back to a white SUV that was waiting in the street.
Officer Todd Compesi located a white BMW X5 with NY plates on Cornell Drive and observed a man run from the driveway to the BMW. A computer check revealed that the BMW had been reported stolen four days earlier in Nassau County, NY, according to police.
When the officer attempted to stop the BMW, the driver accelerated away from the police car and initiated a pursuit, which continued through side streets and then east on East Northfield Road. The pursuit was terminated in West Orange, police said.
About an hour later, a resident of Cornell Drive reported that a 2020 Mercedes C30 had been stolen from the driveway. Responding officers canvassed the neighborhood and found that a nearby resident had captured suspicious activity on a security camera at about 2:05 a.m. According to police, the surveillance footage revealed one man with his face covered walking up and down driveways trying the door handles on parked cars.
The vehicle was recovered on April 1 when it was seen parked on a street in East Orange.
Also on March 30, officers responded to an activated alarm at the Raceway gas station to find that a window to the office on the center island had been smashed. According to police, a review of surveillance footage later showed a man throwing a rock and then entering through the broken window. Several cartons of cigarettes were missing from inside.
A follow-up investigation identified the suspect as Christopher Ransom, who had burglarized the same gas station by breaking the same window last year, according to police. The investigation also revealed that Ransom drove to the gas station in a vehicle that had been stolen out of Union. He was charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief and possession of a stolen vehicle.
The car was recovered along with cartons of cigarettes when Ransom was arrested by Union Police Department on March 31. He was remanded to the Union County Jail.
Shortly after midnight on April 2, Livingston police responded to a call from a resident who observed a suspicious trying to open doors of vehicles parked in driveways on Goodhart Drive.
Officers checking the area located a BMW pulled to the side of the road on Nottingham Drive that was occupied by one male individual with his face covered. According to police, a license plate check revealed that the car had been stolen five days earlier in Ridgewood.
A pursuit of the vehicle ensued as the officers attempted to stop it, and the driver led the officers out to West Hobart Gap Road. The pursuit continued onto East Hobart Gap and then east on South Orange Avenue before being terminated in South Orange. Officers determined that two cars on Coventry Road had been burglarized around the same time.
The Livingston Police Department once again urges residents to lock their cars at night and remove all key fobs, as one or more of the stolen vehicles had been left unlocked with a key fob inside.
Despite adjustments being made to shifts in order to ensure the safety of first responders as COVID-19 continues to spread, the Livingston Police Department continues to operate at full capacity. Therefore, the department encourages residents not to hesitate in calling police immediately if they observe anything suspicious.