UPDATE: Police Pursuit in Ocean Township, Several Still at Large
Update on the search for suspects who fled the scene of a robbery at the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown yesterday.
After a police pursuit, the suspects struck a pedestrian and crashed into a house, with two suspects bailing on foot. Other reports are saying that the struck pedestrian was not seriously injured. As of right now, one suspect is in custody, with two suspects still at large. A K9 unit is en route, and Monmouth County Air 2 is searching. This is reportedly happening in the area of Lynn Drive in Ocean Township.
The robbery occurred outside the Planet Fitness at Monmouth Mall at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Monday, when a 23-year old female was walking into the gym when she was approached by a white minivan.
Det. Tyler said the subject in the passenger seat of the van leaned out and asked to use the woman’s cell phone, stating that he needed to make an emergency call. The woman then gave him the phone and the driver of the van then began to drive off with the her phone.
“The victim grabbed onto the van to try and retrieve her phone and she was dragged through the mall parking lot before the van sped up and the victim fell to the ground, injuring her back, knees and elbows,” Det. Tyler said in a release.
The woman, whose name was not released by police, was subsequently taken to Monmouth Medical Center by the Eatontown First Aid Squad for her injuries.
Det. Tyler said witnesses came to the aid of the woman and also wrote down the license plate and the description of the vehicle, which was later found to be stolen from a Long Branch auto body shop.
Shortly after the robbery, the stolen van was located traveling south on Highway 35 in the direction of Ocean Township. Det. Tyler said officers from Eatontown and Ocean Township attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver, Gerry Caridad, 19, whose address is unknown at this time, refused and drove through several side streets.
Caridad then lost control of the vehicle on Joel Road in Ocean Township, hit a house and fled the scene of the crash on foot. He was quickly apprehended by Eatontown and Ocean Township Police officers of the Eatontown Police Department and the Ocean Township Police Departments.
Det. Tyler said the Eatontown and Ocean Township Police Department also received assistance from the Monmouth County Sherriff’s Office K-9 Unit and the New Jersey State Police Air Support Unit.
The van’s other passengers have not been arrested at this time.
“We are actively seeking the arrest of several others in connection to the robbery at the mall,” Det. Tyler said.
Anybody with information about the incident should contact Detective Sgt. Richard Coffey or Detective Sgt. Theresa Healy at 732-389-7644.
[source: Long Branch Patch]