GOTCHA! Out-Of-State Clifton Auto Shop Burglary Suspect's Alibi Doesn't Fly With NJSP Trooper

An Arizona man stopped in the freezing rain by a New Jersey State Police trooper who was helping his Clifton colleagues search for an auto repair shop burglar claimed that he’d just gone out for a walk, authorities said.

James Newcomb
James Newcomb Photo Credit: CLIFTON PD

A computer check found an outstanding warrant, while a search of his pockets turned up some of the stolen items.

Clifton police thanked State Police for the assistance after arresting James Newcomb, 26, of Prescott, AZ in connection with the Broad Street burglary.

Officers responding to a late-night burglar alarm just off the Garden State Parkway found a broken window at the shop, along with “footprints in the deep snow leading away from the building,” Detective Sgt. Robert Anderson said.

Someone had also rummaged through three parked vehicles, he said.

The trooper, who’d joined the subsequent search for a suspect, spotted Newcomb near the corner of Broad Street and Allwood Road near Route 3, Anderson said.

Newcomb, who at first “appeared to be attempting to avoid interaction,” eventually told the unidentified trooper that he’d been out for a walk – in 24-degree weather with freezing rain falling last weekend, the sergeant said.

The warrant from Jackson Township surfaced, responding officers who’d collected evidence arrived and a search found Newcomb carrying items stolen in the burglary, he said.

Newcomb was sent to the Passaic County Jail to await a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court on four counts of burglary, as well as possession of burglary tools and drug paraphernalia.

The Passaic County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification processed the evidence.

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