SOMERVILLE, NJ – Two borough residents and a third suspect from Secaucus have been arrested and charged with a string of gas station robberies in Somerville, Bridgewater and a third incident in North Plainfield on Jan. 20.
Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson identified the suspects as Jaylen M. Folk, 19, and Evan Moore, 21, both of Hamilton Street in Somerville, and Sahil Ram, 19, of Paterson Plank Road in Secaucus.
The first incident was at 7:20 p.m. Jan. 20. Two men wearing masks robbed the BP Gas Station at 1240 U.S. Highway 22 East in Bridgewater. The attendant reported to responding officers that two masked males entered and approached him in the attendant’s booth.
One suspect demanded money from him while the other held a knife to his neck. One suspect was wearing distinctive red sneakers. After taking approximately $70, one of the suspects dropped the knife in the booth before both suspects fled the area on foot.
Later, at approximately 8:36 p.m., two masked males robbed an attendant at the Shell Gas Station located at 176 West End Ave. in Somerville. The suspects were wearing similar clothing, including distinctive red sneakers. During the robbery, the suspects brandished a knife and punched the attendant. The suspects took a cash register drawer containing approximately $640 and 15 packs of cigarettes.
Before fleeing one of the suspects dropped a 12” knife on the floor of the booth.
Approximately one hour after the Somerville robbery, two masked males approached an attendant at the BP Gas Station located at 1292 U. S. Highway Route 22 East in North Plainfield. The attendant became suspicious and called North Plainfield Police. Officers responded immediately and were able to apprehend Jaylen Folk as the suspects attempted to flee the area. At the time of his arrest Folk was wearing red sneakers.
Detectives from the Somerville, Bridgewater Township and North Plainfield Police Departments along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation.
Since Folk’s arrest, detectives actively pursued leads and conducted interviews which ultimately led to the identifications of Evan Moore and Sahil Ram.
On Friday, March 18 at 11:30 a.m., detectives arrested Moore at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. Moore was charged with Robbery, 2nd Degree and Attempted Robbery, 2nd Degree. Bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Qasim.
On Sunday, March 20, 2016, at approximately 1:45 p.m., Somerville Police Patrol Sergeant Darrin Dipalma, while on patrol observed Folk in the area of Veterans Memorial Drive. Dipalma approached Folk and took him into custody without incident. Folk was charged with 2 counts of Robbery, 1st Degree and Attempted Robbery, 2nd Degree. Bail was set at $100,000 cash or bond by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Goodzeit.
This morning at 9:15 a.m., with the assistance of the Secaucus Police Department, detectives arrested Ram at his residence. Ram was charged with 2 counts of Robbery, 1st Degree and 1 count of Attempted Robbery, 2nd Degree.
All three defendants are lodged in the Somerset County Jail.
Robertson requests anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All calls will be kept confidential.