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North Jersey Car Thieves Targeted Jersey Shore Community, Officer Involved in Crash During Pursuit

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ – It was a scene right out of the Grand Theft Auto video game.  A gang of thugs from out of town came to a quiet neighborhood to steal cars.  Police in Point Pleasant Beach detailed what happened next.

On Thursday, July 30th, 2020 at approximately 03:00am Point Pleasant Beach Patrol Officers Bryan Benites and David Marchetti were patrolling an area of town that has experienced a series of motor vehicle thefts recently. Officer Benites approached two (2) suspicious vehicles on Woodland Ave driving at a slow rate of speed. Officer David Marchetti pointed a spot light on one of the vehicles, and at that point both vehicles accelerated quickly out of the area. Officer Benites initiated a pursuit of both vehicles, and was quickly joined by Officer Tyler Zukowitz. Officers pursued the vehicles through Bay Head and into Mantoloking. During this pursuit one vehicle struck a Mantoloking Police cruiser before becoming disabled. The officer was not injured, but the police vehicle sustained heavy front end damage from the collision. The second suspect vehicle crashed into parked cars on Lagoon Lane in Mantoloking. After the vehicles became disabled all suspects fled on foot.

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A perimeter was quickly established, and with the assistance of Mantoloking, Bay Head, Brick Township, Point Pleasant Borough, OC K9 Unit and the OC Sheriff’s Department Officers the four (4) subjects were taken into custody.

The four suspects were identified as:

1. Isaiah Seabrooks; age 20; from East Orange, NJ, charged with three (3) counts of Theft, three (3) counts of Burglary, Conspiracy to commit theft, Aggravated Assault, and Eluding.
2. Quadir Brown; age 20; from Newark, NJ, charged with three (3) counts of Theft, three (3) counts of Burglary, and Conspiracy to commit theft.
3. Jamal Walker, age 22; from Newark, NJ, charged with three (3) counts of Theft, three counts of Burglary, and Conspiracy to commit theft.
4. Joseph Amos Jr.; age 23, from Newark NJ, charged with three (3) counts of Theft, three (3) counts of Burglary, Conspiracy to commit theft, and Providing False Information to Law Enforcement.

All four suspects were processed at headquarters and transported to Ocean County Jail pending future court proceedings. All four suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

During the course of this investigation, led by Detective Andrew Meany, officers determined that the four subjects traveled from Newark, NJ with the intent to commit motor vehicle thefts. A total of three stolen vehicles have been recovered by this Department in the area that officers initially encountered the subjects. This remains to be an active investigation, and if anyone has further information they are encouraged to contact Point Pleasant Beach Police Detective Andrew Meany or Detective Derek O’Neill @ 732-892-0500.

Over the last several months, Ocean and Monmouth Counties have seen an increase in stolen vehicles, especially those that are unsecured with their key fobs left inside the vehicle. During the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 28th, 2020, two separate vehicles were stolen in Point Pleasant Beach. Both vehicles have been recovered in Newark, NJ.

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At this time, it appears that the keys or key fobs were left in these vehicles. During this time that we all have our minds on COVID-19, criminals are using this opportunity to engage in scams or other criminal conduct. The Police Department is reminding residents and visitors to:

• Always lock your vehicles, even when driving
• Never leave your keys or key fob in the car
• Close all the windows and the sunroof when parked
• Do not leave items of value in plain view in the vehicle
• Never leave your car running and unattended
• Park your car in well-lit areas, use motion lights whenever possible

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Do not be part of this statistic. Over 770,000 drivers fall victim to vehicle theft each year. In fact, a vehicle is stolen about every 41 seconds in America. If you follow these simple guidelines, you can avoid being victimized by this senseless criminal activity.

Chief Joseph Michigan stated, “I am very proud of the hard work, dedication, and professionalism exhibited by all officers involved in this incident. Four subjects with extensive criminal histories were apprehended quickly by our officers. Let this message serve as a reminder to anyone who decides to come to this area to commit a crime.”

As always, we ask the public to assist us in helping resolve these issues by immediately calling the police department (732) 892-0500 if you see anything suspicious. The timely flow of information is vital to help officers address an incident as it unfolds.

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