Man charged for eluding police, theft by deception

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BRANCHBURG Township, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor announced the arrest of Robert Raymond Piel Jr., age 23, Lorde Avenue, Bayonne, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated on Thursday, September 14, 2021, at approximately 3:09 p.m. a Patrol Sergeant with the Branchburg Township Police Department attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop of a grey Nissan Altima travelling northbound on Lamington Road for various traffic violations including speeding. The vehicle failed to stop and continued traveling at a high rate of speed. The Patrol Sergeant subsequently terminated the pursuit within a few minutes on Rattlesnake Bridge Road in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Further investigation into the vehicle and the operator revealed that the vehicle had recently been “traded” in Branchburg Township by the vehicles registered owner and a male who was later identified as Robert Raymond Piel Jr. The “trade” which consisted of exchanging vehicles was agreed upon via social media. It was subsequently discovered that the documents provided to the owner of the Nissan Altima by Piel Jr. during the “trade” were fraudulent.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Monday, October 18, 2021 the same Nissan Altima which fled from Branchburg Police was observed in Essex County, New Jersey, being operated by Piel Jr. who was subsequently arrested on unrelated charges. On October 21, 2021 defendant Piel Jr. was formally charged by Branchburg Police with Eluding and Theft by Deception.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that defendant Piel Jr. was charged with 2nd degree Eluding and 3rd degree Theft by Deception. The Somerset County charges were lodged on defendant Piel Jr. as a detainer. Defendant Piel Jr. was lodged at the Essex County Jail.

Prosecutor Robertson and Chief Fodor request anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the Branchburg Police Department at (908) 526-3830 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.