WESTFIELD, NJ — Authorities on Wednesday arrested a 35-year-old Newark man in connection with the Nov. 11 burglary and theft of a 2004 Ford F-250 truck, police said.
Westfield's detectives Piotr Wierzbicki and Robert Desiato arrested Juan Martinez at his residence in Newark’s North Ward before dawn, Police Chief Christopher Battiloro said in a statement.
Police issued had issued a complaint warrant charging Martinez with two third degree crimes last November, Battiloro said. Despite detective work leading to the charges in two months ago, authorities were unable to locate Martinez until Wednesday, Battiloro said.
“We are putting all of our investigative resources into combating Westfield’s persistent vehicle theft problem,” Battiloro said. “I thank our law enforcement partners for their assistance in locating this suspect.”
The New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit and the United States Marshal’s New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force Newark Division aided in the arrest, Battiloro said.
Court records show Martinez is charged with theft by unlawful taking and burglary.
In November, police said the truck had been stolen from a business located in the 1200 block of South Avenue West at 11:53 p.m. The vehicle was locked at the time, according to police.
To date, the stolen vehicle has not been recovered, Battiloro said.
Martinez was processed at the Westfield Police Department and transported to the Union County Jail in Elizabeth, where he will be held pending a first appearance hearing before a Superior Court judge to determine if his pre-trial detention is warranted, Battiloro said.
Authorities in Westfield have repeatedly stressed that police alone cannot suppress vehicle thefts.
“Residents also have a role and bear a responsibility,” Battiloro said. “They must lock their vehicles and report any and all suspicious activity to the police immediately.”
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