A car thief broke his arm when he and an accomplice bailed out of a moving Jeep they’d just stolen from a Washington Township home, authorities said.
Responding to a citizen’s call, Officer Michael Sinatra and Corporal Vincent Santa arrived as the Jeep Wrangler left the area of West Place around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Police Chief Richard Skinner said.
In it they spotted two men in masks and hoods, he said.
Seeing police, Shyhiem Clark, 24, of East Orange, hit the gas, Skinner said.
The Jeep barely got 100 yards down Manhattan Avenue toward Pascack Road before Clark and passenger Lamar White, 27, of Paterson bailed out, the chief said.
The Jeep kept going before slamming into a pole, he said.
Sinatra and Santa quickly grabbed White in a wooded area nearby.
A short time later, a Wilson Avenue resident found Clark hiding in a garbage can and held him there as police from Hillsdale, Westwood, Paramus and the township converged on the area, Skinner said.
White was taken in custody to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. Clark was sent to the Bergen County Jail.
Both remained held Monday pending first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on charges of theft, eluding and obstruction. Clark also received summonses for reckless driving, leaving the scene of a crash, failing to report it and driving without a license.
Skinner thanked police from neighboring towns for their immediate response, as well as the alert citizens who assisted. He also expressed gratitude that no innocents were injured.
“This is what can happen when people leave their vehicle doors unlocked and the key fobs inside,” the chief said. “It puts the general public and police at risk. Please lock your doors no matter where you park and take your keys or fobs with you.”
Skinner also urged those who see anything suspicious to either dial 911 or call their local police department immediately.
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