A keen-eyed Maywood police officer arrested three people from Maryland and one from Washington, DC who authorities suspect in a string of thefts from lockers at local gyms.
Officer Peter Donatello was patrolling the parking lot of the HUMC Fitness & Wellness Center on northbound Route 17 when a parked vehicle caught his eye.
Mindful of recent burglaries at the gym, he turned his police cruiser around to have a look.
At that point, the driver suddenly sped off onto the highway – and was stopped moments later by Donatello, Detective Sgt. Matthew Parodi said.
On the floor of the vehicle the officer saw several cut Master locks, Parodi said.
Donatello also recognized the front seat passenger -- identified as Lennard Murphy, 30, of Oxon Hill, MD -- as a suspect in a Nov. 3 gym locker theft at the HUMC Fitness Center, the sergeant said..
Murphy “ was wearing the same exact clothing that he was wearing when he was captured on gym surveillance footage,” he said.
A search of the vehicle turned up several bolt cutters, bogus UDs, gift cards and locker locks, Parodi said.
Detective Jason Liaban later determined that that Murphy and two of his companions -- Marchael Clements, 24, of Bowie, MD and Nichole Thomas, 42, of Washington D.C – used a credit card stolen on Nov. 3 to buy several gift cards at various CVS stores in the area, the sergeant said.
Also charged with them was 25-year-old Gary Washington, also of Bowie, MD.
All four were processed on various charges of burglary, theft, fraud, possession of burglary tools and tampering with evidence – then were released pending detention hearings in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law.
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