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Alleged Car Thieves Caught in West Caldwell

Pursuit of one alleged thief ends behind an air conditioning unit.

The pursuit of two alleged car thieves started in Fairfield and ended in a search on West Caldwell streets early Tuesday morning.

Police say two people are in custody after they, along with officers from West Caldwell and other surrounding towns, fanned out on Passaic Avenue near Knoll Terrace.

Monique Spencer, 23, of Newark, was found hiding behind an air conditioning unit on Knoll Terrace, and Mustafa Berry, 26, also of Newark, was discovered along a creek near 319 Passaic Avenue by an Essex County K-9 unit, according to Fairfield Police.

Both have been charged with two counts each of receiving stolen property and eluding police.

The incident began just after midnight in Fairfield when Officer Gerald Veneziano spotted a brown Volkswagen Passat which he believed matched the description of a car stolen in West Caldwell on Oct. 10. A similar car was reportedly seen near a Hillside Drive home in Fairfield where a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee was recently taken while left running in the driveway.

Veneziano lost sight of the Passat near Westville Avenue in West Caldwell. The car was later discovered by West Caldwell Police crashed and abandoned on the front lawn of a house on Passaic Avenue.

Police say a woman’s purse found in the Passat Tuesday matched a purse that was inside the stolen Jeep.

Spencer and Berry were being held Tuesday afternoon at the Fairfield Police Department awaiting bail and/or being moved to the Essex County Jail. A court date has been set for Oct. 24. 

Police also searched unsuccesfully for another pair of car thieves Tuesday morning. A car that was left running near the condominium complex on Bovensierpen Court in Roseland was reported stolen at 7:27 a.m. 

GW Bridge October 16, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Great job FAIRFIELD P.D.
WC October 17, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Shocked to read they were from Newark. Absolutely shocked.
WC October 17, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Also, love the file photo of the cuffs. Although we all know they won't do very much time at all for their crime(s).
Cj October 17, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Great Job West Caldwell and Fairfield Police. Make that bail high enough they cant get out.
WC October 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Note to all the young women of The Caldwells....do not get a tattoo on your breastbone. It never looks good in a mug shot.
E.D. October 17, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I agreed with you completely but that's what they call racial profiling. Sad, they have the rights but we don't anymore. God Bless this country. We need it! Great jos bugbear police depts. keep up the good work and keep your eyes open. Thanks to all of you.
Skippy October 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Calling all racists. Report to the Caldwells. Someone with dark skin must not belong here. Must be up to no good. Fess up. You don't know people who don't look like you and you feel threatened.
Rockyb2 October 20, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Heard they arrested a local WHITE kid from West Caldwell in connection with this case and all of the car thefts and burglaries that have been going on for the past couple of weeks. So much for keeping the "outsiders" who are cauaing the trouble out. Seems like our darling kids are bringing the element in and the ones we need to watch!!!!
Saturnian October 20, 2012 at 08:20 PM
why does everything go "Racial" all the time ???
John Seragusa October 21, 2012 at 08:05 PM
good job guys

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