A trio of Essex County 18-year-olds suspected in local car thefts were grabbed by New Milford police with ski masks, mechanics’ gloves, stolen bank checks and counterfeit money in their car before dawn Thursday, authorities said.
Officer Samuel Gerais smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle after he stopped it on New Bridge Road a minute after midnight, Detective Lt. Kevin Van Saders said.
The three apparently had been cruising the area, looking for cars to steal, he said.
Backup Officers Mark O’Brien, Vincent Siekierski and Andrew Lignos found pot along with the other items in the car, the lieutenant said.
Police also found the registration for a vehicle reported stolen out of Ridgefield Park, Van Saders said.
One of the three also gave them a fake name, he said.
Taken into custody were the driver, Kayla Roach of East Orange, who was charged with conspiracy to steal vehicles; Manuel Morales of Newark, who was charged with conspiracy and possession of forged documents and a small amount of marijuana, and Nazir Campbell of Irvington, who was charged with conspiracy, hindering his apprehension and possession of burglary tools and forged documents.
Police in Ridgefield Park and Bogota added charges that included burglary, theft and conspiracy.
Roach, Morales, and Campbell were all released on summonses pending first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law.
ALSO SEE: EMTs in Bergenfield, Dumont, New Milford and elsewhere in Bergen County know 53-year-old Dean Mancini, and not in a good way: Homeless, alcoholic and at times violent, he’s been transported to hospitals an estimated 200 times the past year alone, they say.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.