UNION, NJ – Township of Union police responded to the Garden State Motel, 1650 Route 22, at 11:55 p.m. on Friday after a woman called 911 and reported that she was robbed at gunpoint, according to police.
Police stated that the victim reported she was supposed to meet up with a man she met via the internet. The man showed up to her room with a friend and pointed guns at her demanding her money, according to police. The suspects took her money, cell phone and purse. Police said the men used duct tape to tie the woman and left the motel room. The victim was able to free herself and found someone to call 911 for her.
According to a police press release, on Saturday police reviewed a surveillance video and saw an image of the suspect’s car. An officer from the Street Crimes Unit had been in the area of the Garden State Motel prior to the robbery and recalled checking the license plate of the suspect’s car.
Police reported that officers used this information and located the car parked in Newark. Officers observed the vehicle and stopped it when someone started to drive away. Police stated the robbery victim’s identification was visible in the car and the driver was arrested for possession of the stolen property. The car was towed back to police headquarters for further investigation.
According to police, a search warrant from a superior court judge was obtained to search the suspect’s home and car. Officers found a quantity of marijuana in the house and other items that appear to be stolen. Upon a search of the car, police stated that other phones, purses and personal possessions from other victims were found. The two guns used in the robbery were also found. Police report that after investigation it was determined these were imitation guns. Later, the victim identified the arrestee as one of the men who robbed her.
The man arrested is Joshua Wilkens, a 26-year old man from Seymour Avenue, Newark. Police reported that he was charged with armed robbery, handgun possession, and receiving stolen property. Other towns have had similar crimes and Wilkens matches the suspect’s description in those cases a well, according to police. He is being held at the Union Police Department headquarters pending transfer to the Union County Jail.
The investigation into this crime is continuing and police are trying to identify the other suspect involved in this armed robbery. If anyone has any information, please contact the Union Police Department Detective Bureau at 908-851-5030.