Three New York men arrested after shoplifting escalates to car chase in Middletown, NJ
Several hours after a bank robbery in Middletown Township on Wednesday morning, there was a shoplifting incident that took place mid-afternoon which led to a police pursuit car chase.
Middletown Police said they received a call around 3:30 pm on Wednesday after an employee at the Verizon store on Route 35 reported that a man went into the store and took off with an Apple iPhone14 off the display case into a waiting black Nissan Maxima with Pennsylvania registration and others in the vehicle.
A Middletown Police Officer was at another Verizon store on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft letting employees know what happened at their other location when he spotted the suspect vehicle about 15 minutes later and tried to pull the vehicle over.
The three male suspects in the vehicle kept on driving as officers pursued heading north along Middletown Lincroft Road but police said they called off the pursuit at this point near Nutswamp Road due to public safety concerns.
Police said that they received information from concerned citizens that the vehicle was seen along a side street off of Nutswamp Road and it was ultimately found by police along Confield Court near South Lake Drive.
The three suspects were then arrested in connection to the shoplifting and eluding.
Middletown Police charged Illyas Bass, 34, of Fresh Meadow, New York with Shoplifting, Employing a juvenile in the commission of a crime, Conspiracy, Possession of burglary tools, Contempt of court, Eluding, and numerous motor vehicle offenses.
Harris John, 35, of Jamaica, New York, was charged with Shoplifting, Employing a juvenile in the commission of a crime, Conspiracy, Possession of oxycodone, and Possession of burglary tools.
Bass and John were both brought to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending a detention hearing.
The other suspect involved was a 15 year old juvenile from Brooklyn, New York was charged with Criminal Mischief, Shoplifting, Possession of burglary tools, and Unlawful possession of a weapon but was then released to a guardian pending a hearing in Monmouth County Superior Court, Family Part.
"This incident is a great example of the Middletown Police Department’s professionalism and dedication to our community," Middletown Police Chief Craig Weber said in a written statement. "The work of these officers brought this case to a safe and successful conclusion. Additionally, we thank the members of the public who assisted us. The information and support we received proved very beneficial to our case and is greatly appreciated.”