WESTFIELD, NJ — Two teenagers suspected of burglarizing cars were arrested Monday morning after a foot chase and nearly two-hour long search of the residential neighborhood, police announced.
The Westfield Police Department responded to a home on the 500 block of North Chestnut Street at about 7:19 a.m. on a report by a resident of someone attempting to enter his vehicle, which was parked in his driveway, police said in a press release Tuesday.
When he got there, Officer Joseph Saunders saw the suspects walking west on Maple Street from North Chestnut Street, police said. Both immediately began to run and Saunders gave chase, following them into the rear yards of homes on the 600 block of Maple Avenue, police said.
With additional responding officers from the Westfield Police, Mountainside Police and Union County Police Departments, they established a perimeter of the neighborhood and then methodically searched for the suspects for nearly two hours, police said.
Shaheem Brantley, 19, of Newark, was discovered running in a rear yard of a home on the 200 block of Harrison Avenue, police said. He surrendered himself without incident to Detective William Kleeman of the Westfield Police Department and Detective Anthony Gialanella and his K-9 partner “Marco” of the Union County Sheriff’s Office, police said.
A 15-year old boy, also of Newark, was found and arrested by Officers Saunders and Andres Jaramillo in a shed in the rear of a residence located on the 600 block of Maple Street, police said. He was reportedly previously seen by a resident lying inside his vehicle, which was parked in the driveway of the resident's home on the 200 block of Harrison Avenue, police said.
As of Tuesday, both Brantley and the juvenile have been charged with burglary, criminal attempt and obstructing administration of law, police said. The juvenile has also been charged with criminal trespass, police said.
Brantley has been committed to the Union County Jail in Elizabeth pending a detention hearing, police said. The juvenile has been served with juvenile delinquency complaints and was released to the custody of a guardian, police said.
“This was an all-hands on deck effort,” Police Chief Christopher Battiloro said in the press release. He commended the efforts of all responding officers. “Their drive, dedication and commitment in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion with arrests cannot be understated.”
The Westfield Police Department said it is investigating additional vehicle burglaries or attempted vehicle burglaries that reportedly occurred on Crescent Parkway, Kimball Avenue and Wychview Drive. The department asked that anyone with any information relating to these reported incidents contact Detective Elizabeth Savnik at 908-789-6078 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vehicle burglaries and thefts remain a persistent problem in Westfield, police said. The department reminded residents to lock their vehicles at all times and immediately report any suspicious persons, vehicles and/or activities directly to the Westfield Police Department.
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