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Violent Robber Who Preyed On Prostitutes At Secaucus Hotels Captured, Police Say

One of two men who forced their way into motel rooms and robbed prostitutes and their customers in Secaucus was seized by police, authorities announced Friday.

Kendall Smith

Kendall Smith

Photo Credit: Secaucus PD

Kendall Smith, 32, of Jersey City and a second man committed at least three violent robberies beginning May 17 at the La Quinta Hotel, Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller said.

Smith and his companion “forced their way into the victims’ hotel room while brandishing knives,” the chief said. “After a struggle, the suspects fled the area with some of the victims’ money, personal belongings and documents.”

Two weeks later, they did the same at the Red Roof Inn, he said.

Coincidentally, the Secaucus Police Department began installing license plate readers around town at that time, the chief said.

One of the earliest plates read were of the getaway vehicle the Red Roof robbers used, he said.

A third sex worker told police that Smith and another man entered her room at the Meadowlands Plaza Hotel on June 4, Miller said.

After choking and threatening to kill her, the robbers snatched personal belongings and fled, he said.

Once again, their vehicle was identified by a license plate reader, the chief said.

Detectives matched the readings with images from area security cameras and identified Smith as one of their suspects, he said.

They nabbed Smith with help from the Jersey City Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit on Wednesday, June 5 in the area of Martin Luther King Drive and Armstrong Avenue in Jersey City near his Neptune Avenue home, Miller said Friday.

A court-approved search of his vehicle turned up evidence linking Smith to the robberies, the chief said.

Police charged Smith with two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of conspiracy, two counts of engaging in prostitution and weapons offenses, among other crimes. He remained held Friday in the Hudson County Correctional Center in Kearny, records show.

The search for the second robber was continuing.

ANYONE with information that could help investigators is asked to contact the Secaucus Secaucus Police Detective Division at (201) 330-2052 or detectivedivsion@secaucusnjpolice.gov.

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