TENAFLY, N.J. – Tenafly police believe six Newark residents who claimed to be lost when an officer stopped the driver for having her vehicle's headlights off before dawn were casing neighborhoods for luxury cars to steal.
Officer Brandon Moriarty pulled over the gray Nissan Sentra on County Road around 12:45 a.m. and quickly spotted the rear seat passengers not wearing seat belts, Capt. Michael deMoncada said.
After the 20-year-old driver and her passengers gave conflicting stories, police found Alshadeem Greene, also 20, carrying more than four dozen folds of heroin, deMoncada said.
He was arrested on drug charges and issued a seat belt summons, the captain said.
Also arrested was 21-year-old Davon McSwain, who was wanted on an outstanding traffic warrant out of Essex County.
Both were taken to the Bergen County Jail.
An underage teen in the car was taken to the Bergen County Juvenile Detention Center for a probation violation, deMoncada said.
The driver received a warning for driving without headlights, he said.
Two additional juveniles were released to the custody of an adult.
“Information about this incident was shared with our law enforcement partners in the area in an attempt to thwart the recent series of car thefts in the Northern Valley region,” deMoncada said.
“We believe that car thieves from Newark, often gang members, are being driven to this area in small groups to target high-end luxury vehicles that are parked and left unlocked with their keys or fobs in the vehicle,” the captain said.
“Once again, this should serve as a reminder to all of our residents to remain vigilant and lock all vehicles and remove valuables and key fobs from your cars, especially at night,” he added.
If you see anyone suspicious on your property, or parked in your neighborhood, call police immediately.
Police “encourage everyone who sees something suspicious to remember the suspect’s approximate height, weight, race, clothing, hair style/color, etc. and/or vehicle description (color, make, model, and if possible, license plate),” deMoncada said.