A Lyndhurst police officer pursued a stolen car through six towns overnight Wednesday before the driver crashed and bailed out in Hackensack.
Officer Mark Rivera saw the driver of the silver Ford Focus reported stolen out of Clifton make an improper right turn onto Riverside Avenue from Valley Brook Avenue around 12:30 a.m., Detective Sgt. Vincent Auteri said.
Rivera tried to pull the driver over, but he kept going, making unsafe lane changes and crossing over the double yellow line into Rutherford, he said.
Speeds topped out at 55 mph as the pursuit continued onto Jackson Avenue and into East Rutherford toward Paterson Avenue.
The driver then turned north on Hackensack Street through Carlstadt and into Wood-Ridge, where borough police joined the chase.
He continued north into Hasbrouck Heights and through a red light at Essex Street in Hackensack before getting onto Polifly Road and passing Hackensack High School.
Violations continued as the driver headed north on First Street, Auteri said.
He passed another vehicle on the right at a red light before losing control and crashing the Focus into a light pole on corner of Vanderbeck Place and Passaic Street, ending the 8½ -mile pursuit, the sergeant said.
Hackensack police arrived and joined Rivera as the driver -- described as black, in his early 20s, with black hair, a black shirt and gray shorts -- bailed out and ran, Auteri said.
Officers chased him through several yards in the area of Hamilton Avenue before they lost sight of him.
A perimeter was established and a Bergen County sheriff's K-9 unit responded, searching Hamilton Place, Anderson Street, Clinton Place, Lookout Avenue, and Prospect Avenue with no success.
The sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification processed the vehicle for fingerprints and other evidence.
Auteri asked that anyone with information that could help catch the thief call Lyndhurst PD: (201) 939-2900.
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