WESTFIELD, NJ — Three teens were arrested on charges related to attempted motor vehicle theft Wednesday, Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro announced in a press release Thursday evening.
“Make no mistake,” Battiloro said in his announcement, “Westfield residents and their unlocked motor vehicles are being targeted by criminals for their demonstrated complacency. These arrests, and the ones announced last week, unquestionably affirm that.”
The attempted thefts occurred on the 500 block of Topping Hill Road on Wednesday, Aug. 12, at 6:27 a.m., according to police. The Westfield Police Department responded to a report of a vehicle fleeing the scene of an attempted motor vehicle burglary, police said.
This information was shared with the Mountainside Police Department, which located the vehicle in on Wychwood Road near Cherry Lane in Westfield, police said. It was occupied by Delano Fletcher, 18, of East Orange; Qausin Lee, 19, of East Orange; Jawaun Whitted, 18, of Newark; and a fourth person who was not charged, police said.
A subsequent investigation by Westfield Police Department detectives resulted in criminal charges.
Fletcher was charged with burglary, accomplice to a burglary and theft, police said.
Lee was charged with receiving stolen property and hindering apprehension, police said. He was also charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (crack cocaine) and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.
Whitted was charged with burglary, attempted burglary, theft and receiving stolen property, police said.
The charges were approved by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, police said, and all three were released on their own recognizance after being processed and served with complaint summonses.
Battiloro strongly urged residents to remove all valuables and lock their vehicles at all times. Additionally, he said, residents should immediately report all suspicious persons, vehicles and activities to the Westfield Police Department by calling 911.
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