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DV Pilot Police & Fire

Closter PD: Driver Of Unlocked Stolen Car In Chase Crash Tracked Down In Jersey City

Justin Howard
Justin Howard Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy CLOSTER PD

Closter police tracked down a Jersey City man who they said fled during a stolen-car chase earlier this year.

Justin Howard, 19, was charged with eluding, resisting arrest and receiving stolen property stemming from the Feb. 4 incident.

Closter police were actually chasing two stolen vehicles around 3 a.m. that morning when the one that Howard was in crashed at the Alpine border, Detective Sgt. Vincent Aiello said.

The occupants bailed out, ran through a large estate in Alpine and made their getaway in an unlocked car whose owner left the key fob inside, he said.

Working with the Jersey City Police Street Crimes Unit, Closter detectives nabbed Howard in front of a vacant property on Rose Avenue in the city’s south district, the sergeant said.

They brought him back to headquarters in Closter, processed him and sent Howard to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained Wednesday pending a hearing.

Closter is among many North Jersey communities plagued by motor vehicle thefts the pat two years.

Earlier this month, two vehicles were stolen from a driveway on the borough’s East Hill after the thieves used a garage door opener found in one of the vehicles, Aiello said.

One was recovered in Irvington, the other in Maplewood, he said.

Repeating what North Jersey police have said over and again, Aiello urged drivers to lock their vehicle doors and bring their key fobs indoors with them.

“It is becoming increasingly dangerous for the residents of Closter and the Closter Police when these individuals come to the Northern Valley to steal high-end vehicles,” he said. 

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