On Thursday, June 24, 2021, at approximately 6:46 am, the Stafford Township Police Department received a report of a stolen vehicle out of Long Beach Township. The stolen vehicle was reported as a white Range Rover, traveling west on Route 72.
Officers immediately began to respond to the area of Route 72 in search of the stolen vehicle. Upon approaching the area of Route 72 and Route 9, Officer Zach Wiatrowski came upon a BMW X7 on the side of the roadway with heavy front end damage. As he came up to the scene, he observed two black male subjects, wearing dark colored hooded sweatshirts, fleeing from the vehicle on foot toward the Route 9 South exit ramp. Officer Wiatrowski immediately ensued a foot pursuit, which quickly led to the apprehension and arrest of a 17 year-old male juvenile, of Newark, NJ.
Further investigation revealed that prior to officers’ arrival, the BMW X7 had been traveling west on Route 72 at a very high rate of speed, at which time it rear-ended a gray Jeep Compass. The driver of the BMW lost control of the vehicle and subsequently struck the guardrail. After the impact, the driver of the Jeep Compass continued traveling a distance on Route 72 West, before pulling onto the center median to assess the situation.
While Officer Wiatrowski apprehended the first subject, it was learned that the second fleeing subject ran back to the area of Route 72 where the Jeep Compass was located. He then shoved the female driver of the vehicle to the ground, entered her vehicle, and fled the area traveling Route 72 West.
Investigation revealed that the BMW had also been reported stolen out of New York. A statewide BOLO was initiated, and the investigation was turned over to the Stafford Township Detective Bureau. The stolen Range Rover was not located, and is believed to be directly involved in the stolen BMW investigation.