Bergenfield Police Chief Tells How Car Thieves From NYC Were Caught In Three Separate Chases

UPDATE: Bergenfield police on Friday detailed several vehicle pursuits and foot chases that ended with the capture of three accused car thieves from New York City, one of whom they said was carrying phony credit cards and more than $10,000 in cash.

Abdoul Traore

Abdoul Traore


It began with a hit and run on Sussex Road in Teaneck shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Bergenfield Officer Jose Portorreal was on the lookout when he spotted a suspect getting into a Volkswagen Passat with two other occupants, Police Chief Mustafa Rabboh said.

Portorreal tried to stop the car on Harriet Avenue, but the driver sped off before crashing on Greenwich Drive, Rabboh said.

All three occupants got out and ran in different directions, he said.

Police quickly grabbed a 17-year-old boy. He was processed at headquarters and turned over to an adult, Rabboh said.

As officers searched for the other two, a driver in a white Mercedes Benz CLS approached the area and illegally parked a few blocks away, the chief said.

He got out, walked to the area of the crash, then got back into the Mercedes and sped off, Rabboh said.

Lt. Eric Ost pursued the vehicle before the driver got stuck in traffic on Sussex Road, got out and ran, he said.

Police grabbed him on Laurel Court and recovered the Mercedes, which had been reported stolen last month out of Cherry Hill. The vehicle, which bore bogus Texas tags, had a fake registration card and its VIN numbers covered up, the chief said.

The driver, Issa Soumare, 23, of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was carrying several credit cards and IDs with various names, Rabboh said.

Police charged Soumare with receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, obstruction and ID theft, among others offenses, then released him on a summons pending a court date.

Their work wasn’t finished, however.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m., officers spotted and chased down a third suspect, identified as Abdoul Traore, also 23, of West Harlem, on Woodbine Street.

Traore was carrying $10,800 and several credit cards in other people’s names, Rabboh said.

He was charged with money laundering, resisting arrest, obstruction and ID theft and sent to the Bergen County Jail to await a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

Rabboh, who participated in the pursuits himself, thanked Teaneck and New Milford police and the Bergen County Sheriff’s K-9 unit for their assistance.

In the end, he said, "no one was injured, no police vehicles were damaged and everyone got to go home safely.”

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