WESTFIELD, NJ — Nine people involved in car thefts were arrested in Westfield Sunday, according to Westfield Police Chief David Wayman. Four were involved in crash on Central Avenue Sunday morning and five were arrested after fleeing a stolen car on Prospect Street Sunday night.
On Sunday night at 11:43 p.m., Westfield Police saw a vehicle speeding North-bound on Prospect Street, Wayman said.
“Officers went to locate the vehicle at the dead end section of Prospect,” he said. “All of the occupants fled.”
The vehicle turned out to be stolen out of Elizabeth, he said. Two girls and three boys ages 15 to 17 from Newark were taken into custody. Wayman said that he is fairly confident that they were in town looking to steal more cars.
Sunday morning at about 7 a.m., a stolen car from Manalapan crashed through a fence and into the bushes of a home on the 1200 block of Central Avenue. Four males got out of the car and fled on foot, leading to a manhunt that would last five hours before the last suspect was caught.
During that time, suspects attempted to steal a car on Tudor Oval, according to Wayman. According to a witness, one suspect tried to steal the car of a good Samaritan who stopped to help.
“We heard a loud bang at 7 o’clock, looked out the window and saw the car in our front yard,” homeowner Aileen Sherman said. “Saw two men — one took off right away, the other was stopped by a passerby to see if he was okay. He then tried to take the passerby’s car. When that didn't work out, he took off.”
The stolen car was not being pursued by police at the time, Wayman noted.
Sherman said that police were quick to help after the crash.
“An officer stayed with us until the car was towed at 11 o’clock,” she said. “Thankfully no one was hurt. Only damage was to our fence, lawn and shrubs.”
Wayman is encouraging residents to take precautions against car theft.
“They should lock their cars and take their key fobs out of their cars, as a preventative measure, because we are experiencing motor vehicle thefts,” he said.