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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Clifton Police: Carjacker Crashes Woman’s Stolen Mercedes, Abandons It In Middle Of Route 21

Aaron Smith Jr.
Aaron Smith Jr. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Clifton PD

Clifton police chased down a man who they said carjacked a woman at knifepoint, then crashed her Mercedes and left it the middle of Route 21 with two flat tires, authorities said.

Aaron Smith Jr., 53, of East Orange abandoned the car in the southbound lanes of the highway near Route 3 after crashing it around 1 a.m., Lt. Robert Bracken said Monday.

Witnesses told police they saw him flee carrying a knife.

Officer Kevin Berdnik and Sgt. Gene Hayes were searching the area parallel to the highway when Smith approached them “with his hands clenched inside his waistband,” Brackin said.

The officers drew their weapons and ordered Smith to surrender, the lieutenant said.

“He initially refused but ultimately complied,” he said.

Police found a ski mask but not the knife, Bracken added.

They turned Smith over to their colleagues in Orange, where the carjacking reportedly occurred.

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