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Police: Suspect In Armed Robbery Spree Rams Cars During Clifton Pursuit With Pregnant GF In Car

Jonathan Decarvalho
Jonathan Decarvalho Photo Credit: CLIFTON PD

A Middlesex County ex-con sought in a string of armed robberies had his 8-months-pregnant girlfriend with him when he led police on a high-speed chase -- eventually ramming their vehicles -- after holding up a Clifton Dunkin Donuts at knifepoint, authorities said.

At least seven other law enforcement agencies had identified the 2008 Nissan Altima spotted by Officer George Balkjy speeding through the Styertowne Shopping Center parking lot around 7 p.m. Sunday, Detective Lt. Robert Bracken said.

The driver -- Jonathan Decarvalho, 34, of Parlin -- had just robbed the Dunkin Donuts there, Bracken said.

Suspecting the Nissan may have been involved in a crime, Balkjy activated his lights and siren. But Decarvalho sped off, at one point driving into oncoming traffic, the lieutenant said.

Informed by a dispatcher about the robbery, Balkjy pursued the Altima onto eastbound Route 21, then onto southbound Route 21 -- and eventually onto Oriental Street in Newark, Bracken said.

What Decarvalho didn't know is that Oriental Street is a dead end, he said.

Boxed in, he rammed two Clifton police cars and some unoccupied residents' vehicles, Bracken said.

He eventually surrendered and was taken into custody, the lieutenant said.

The pregnant woman, who apparently owns the Altima, was treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.

Decarvalho, meanwhile, was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault on a police officer, eluding and weapons offenses. He remained held in the Passaic County Jail.

Other law enforcement agencies have eyed Decarvalho in an armed robbery spree, Bracken said.

He has an extensive rap sheet, having previously served four years in state prison following convictions for burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, making terroristic threats and drug possession, records show.

Assisting in the chase and arrest were Sgt. Bruce Lawson, Officer Leutrim Reci, Officer Zakaria Bernardo and Sgt. Glen Arthur, Bracken said.

"Everyone involved did a tremendous job putting an end to a crime spree that spanned many jurisdictions throughout central and northern New Jersey," he said.

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