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Authorities: Carlstadt Officer Not Fooled By Wanted Newark Driver Switching Seats

Shareef Kamara
Shareef Kamara Photo Credit: CARLSTADT PD

A wanted Newark man tried to avoid detection by switching seats with his passenger when a Carlstadt police officer stopped him for making an illegal turn, authorities said.

The silver Nissan that illegally turned right off northbound Route 120 into the Hampton Inn parking lot also had tinted windows and an obstructed license plate when Officer Matthew Bartlett stopped it, Police Chief Thomas Berta said Monday.

The vehicle shook heavily as Bartlett approached it – the result of 22-year-old Shareef Kamara swapping seats with a female passenger who had her young daughter with her, Berta said.

Bartlett began interviewing both adults after smelling pot from inside the vehicle, the chief said.

He discovered that Kamara, who’d initially given him a fake name, was wanted on several warrants out of Essex County for robbery, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and eluding, he said.

A Bergen County sheriff’s K-9 indicated the presence of drugs, after which a search turned up marijuana in the glove compartment, Berta said.

Police drove the woman and her daughter to the Hampton Inn, where they’d been staying.

They charged Kamara with marijuana possession, making an improper turn and driving without a license – with an Aug. 20 Municipal Court date -- and brought him to the Essex County Jail on the warrants.


ALSO SEE: Carlstadt police captured a pair of teen thieves as they exited a local supermarket with nearly $1,500 worth of stolen over-the-counter medications and vitamins, authorities said.


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