The New Jersey State Police have arrested six people who they believe stole Honda and Acura automobiles in Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties and then stripped them for parts. The arrests mark the end of an investigation that began in October 2019. Police say the group used a building in Linden to store stolen cars and sell parts. When police executed a search warrant at the facility in February 2020, they allegedly discovered a stolen Honda Civic sedan and counterfeit license plates along with auto parts including an engine and transmission.
Traffic stop leads to investigation
The investigation into the group’s alleged activities began when NJSP troopers responded to the scene of a traffic accident on the Garden State Parkway and found an overturned Honda Civic. The three men and woman inside the vehicle fled the scene on foot when law enforcement arrived. Police later learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen the previous day.
Police identify alleged ringleaders
During the course of the investigation, police identified a 30-year-old Roselle man as the likely leader of the auto theft ring. A 26-year-old Perth Amboy woman and a 24-year-old Newark man allegedly oversaw the group’s day-to-day operations. Police also arrested two 22-year-old Newark men and a 27-year-old Woodbridge man. The suspects face charges including conspiring to steal cars and sell stolen auto parts, operating a facility used to sell stolen parts, altering vehicle identification numbers, fencing and receiving stolen goods. According to reports, the suspects remain in custody and are being held at the Middlesex Adult Detention Center and the Essex County Jail.
Police often gather a great deal of evidence during lengthy investigations, which could make prosecutors less willing to consider sentencing or charging concessions. However, experienced criminal defense attorneys may argue that a more lenient stance is appropriate when their clients are charged with nonviolent crimes. If you or somebody you care about faces theft or receiving stolen goods charges, an attorney could encourage the prosecutor involved to soften their position by citing mitigating circumstances such as a prior clean record and genuine remorse.