Vehicle Stolen from Gas Station Leads Police on Car Chase and Results in Owner’s Arrest
Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department is actively investigating the theft of a 2013 Honda Odyssey from the A Plus Sunoco station, located at the intersection of Passaic Avenue and Greenbrook Road on March 5, 2013 at approximately 11:00 P.M.
At that time, the owner of the Honda, identified as Terrence Byrd of Paterson, N.J. initially informed police that his vehicle was taken by three individuals, one of whom allegedly brandished a handgun. The Odyssey, followed by a black pickup truck that the men were originally in, then fled south on Passaic Avenue.
Sgt. John McNish, who was near the West Caldwell Walgreens, located at Passaic Avenue and Clinton Road when the call came in, spotted the suspect vehicles and attempted to stop them. The vehicles then actively attempted to elude police as they traveled through West Caldwell, Caldwell, Verona and West Orange. During this time, police from these jurisdictions also attempted to stop the vehicles. The pursuit was finally terminated on Route 280.
Further investigation at the Sunoco station by Fairfield detectives revealed that no handgun was used but rather that Byrd left the vehicle running unattended which helped to facilitate its theft. Byrd’s alleged explanation for having reported the false carjacking was to get a quicker police response which it did. Unfortunately for Byrd, the response also netted him a charge for filing a false police report. “Mr. Byrd’s actions put a great number of people at risk including the public and the police officers who pursued the stolen vehicle believing the suspects were armed and dangerous” said Deputy Chief Anthony Manna. He is scheduled to appear in the Fairfield Municipal Court on March 14, 2013 for an initial court appearance. As of press time, his vehicle has still not yet been recovered. (It should be noted that the charges against him are merely allegations and that he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law)
Man Charged with Sexual Assault and Impersonating Police Officer
Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office announce the arrest of Joseph Lipham (40) of Garfield, N.J. for two counts of sexual assault and one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer. Lipham was arrested at his residence during the morning hours of March 6, 2013 without incident.
The incident that led to his arrest allegedly took place on March 5, 2013 at approximately 12:00 noon at the LaQuinta hotel, located on Two Bridges Road in Fairfield, where Lipham arranged to meet the woman. When Lipham arrived at the room, he allegedly entered the room and identified himself as a law enforcement officer. He then allegedly told the victim he was going to arrest her unless she had sexual relations with him. Fearing arrest, the victim complied and allegedly engaged in sexual activity with Lipham.
Lipham then allegedly left the room at which time the victim contacted an acquaintance who was outside of the hotel and advised them of what occurred. This individual then allegedly confronted Lipham in the parking lot of the hotel, at which time Lipham again identified himself as a police officer. When Lipham drove away, the witness was able to obtain a license plate which greatly assisted investigators.
A joint investigation between detectives of the Fairfield Police Department and investigators from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit revealed that Lipham is not, and never was, a law enforcement officer. “The diligence and prompt attention of all the investigators involved in this case resulted in the apprehension of this predator in less than twenty four hours. All of us in the law enforcement profession take very seriously those individuals who engage in criminal activity while fraudulently claiming to be a police officer” said Deputy Chief Anthony Manna. “
At press time, Lipham was being held at the Fairfield Police Department in lieu of $100,000 bail. He is scheduled for an initial court appearance date of March 14, 2013 in the Superior Court in Essex County. (It should be noted that Lipham is presumed innocent until if and/or when proven guilty in a court of law)
Local Men Arrested for Strong Armed Robbery of Teen
Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department announces the arrest of David Stoia Jr. (21) of Totowa, N.J. and Joseph Neglia (21) of Fairfield, N.J. for robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. The incident that led to the charges started on the evening of March 2, 2013 at approximately 8:00 P.M. at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne. It is alleged that is when the 16 year old victim of the robbery, was approached by the pair and asked if he wanted to purchase marijuana. The victim allegedly agreed to accompany the pair to another location for the purpose of purchasing the marijuana. The victim allegedly got into a 1994 black Honda and was driven to a residence on Little Falls Road in Fairfield where Stoia apparently once lived.
Stoia and Neglia then went around the back of the residence and allegedly emerged with a bag that they placed in the trunk. They then drove to a nearby side street and opened the trunk and Neglia allegedly got out and told the victim to get the bag with the marijuana. When the victim went to do this, Neglia got back into the car and the vehicle started to drive off. The victim then jumped into the truck which closed on top of him. A short time later, the vehicle stopped and the trunk was again opened. It is alleged that Neglia then grabbed the victim, threw him to the ground and punched him in the face. The vehicle then sped away with the victim’s Blackberry tablet, backpack and $60.00 in cash. The victim then contacted the police. The victim was able to provide police with a description of the car and a partial license plate.
In the early morning hours of March 3, 2013, Officer R.J. Casendino was on patrol near the A Plus Sunoco station, located at the intersection of Greenbrook Road and Passaic Avenue when he came upon a 1994 black Honda Civic that fit the description and which had a license plate with the partial characters that had been provided by the victim. Officer Casendino stopped the vehicle and found the lone driver to be Stoia. The officer noticed that Stoia was allegedly wearing a shirt that matched the description provided by the victim. The officer also allegedly noticed other items in the rear seat of the vehicle that led him to believe that this was the vehicle involved in the earlier robbery.
During the course of this investigation, Officer Casedino determined that probable cause existed to believe that Stoia was operating his vehicle while under the influence. He was then arrested and the vehicle was impounded. Detective Sergeant Charles Zampino and Det. Robert Sanger conducted a follow up investigation which ultimately resulted in Stoia being charged with robbery and conspiracy. It also resulted in an arrest warrant being issued for Neglia for the same charges.
Stoia was released on his own recognizance with an initial court appearance date of March 22, 2013 in the Superior Court in Newark, N.J. Neglia surrendered to authorities on March 5, 2013 and was also released on his own recognizance with the same court date. (It should be noted that the charges against both are merely allegations and that both are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law)
Police Investigate Theft of Truck Batteries
Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department is investigating a series of thefts throughout the Township involving commercial truck batteries dating back to February 14, 2013. The latest incidents occurred sometime between February 28-March1, 2013 in the area of Just Road. Four separate companies reported that 9 batteries were stolen from five different trucks.
Since this rash of thefts began, and not including what was reported to police on March 1, 2013, a total of 51 batteries valued at approximately $3800 have been stolen. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Fairfield police Department’s Investigative Division at (973) 227-1400.