VERONA, NJ - Verona police arrested Damon Abnathya, 39, of Montclair for breaking into several motor vehicles in the early morning on Tuesday.
Officer Stephanie Colon saw Abnathya carrying a small red bag around 4 a.m. in the area of Mt. Prospect Avenue and Sunset Avenue. Given the hour and temperature, and being aware of previous vehicle thefts and burglaries in the area, Colon pulled over to speak with him according to police reports.
Upon seeing Colon turn around, Abnathya immediately dropped the bag and ran through the backyards on Sunset Avenue. After a foot chase, Abnathya was taken into custody by Officers Colon, McMahon, Sgt Condorelli and Lt. Wardrope. He possessed more than $300 in cash and change. He also had several gift cards, change purses and various small personal items. After being advised of his Miranda Rights, Abnathya admitted that he was entering vehicles in the area.
Abnathya was charged with Theft (4th degree), Obstruction of Justice (4th degree) and Resisting Arrest (4th degree). After processing, he was transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility for arraignment.
"It was excellent Police work by Officer Colon" said acting Chief Christopher Kiernan. "She remained vigilant in her patrol duties knowing we were experiencing thefts in the area. It was a great job by the entire Midnight Shift on many levels. Very proud of their efforts and follow through."
The investigation is ongoing to locate all of the owners of the items. Please call the Verona Police Department at 973-239-5000 if you believe anything was taken from your vehicle.