Cop thwarts truck theft: Harrison PD


A Harrison police officer’s quick response, aided by a GPS, was credited for the capture of a stolen truck and the accused thief.

HPD Det. Lt. David Doyle said the episode unfolded on Saturday, Aug. 20, when police received a call at about 1 p.m. reporting that a brand new 2016 Freightliner straight-job truck had just been stolen from in front of 900 S. Second St.

Doyle said that the driver and helper had just unloaded items to a warehouse and that its motor was still running when they saw a man jump into the cab and drive the truck away.

The men immediately phoned police and accessed a system to track the vehicle which was equipped with a GPS device, Doyle said.

That system, said Doyle, indicated that the truck had gone only a few miles, stopping in the area of Martin Luther King Boulevard and William St. in Newark.

HPD Officer Darren Raefski, a veteran with more than 21 years on the force, was dispatched to that location while the driver and helper followed in their own vehicle while coordinating with the HPD dispatch center, Doyle said.

Newark PD was also contacted for help but had no one available to respond, according to Doyle.

Arriving at the Newark location, Raefski approached the parked truck, pulled open the driver’s door and ordered the man at the wheel to step out of the vehicle, Doyle said.

Instead, Doyle said, the suspect put the truck in drive and began moving with the officer standing on the running board.

Raefski struggled with the suspect to hit the brake while also trying to remove him from the vehicle, Doyle said. He managed to get one handcuff on the man and force him out of the truck, said Doyle.

The victims, who had been following close behind, immediately came forward to assist the officer and subdue and fully cuff the suspect while placing the truck in park, Doyle said.

No one was hurt in the process and the truck sustained no damage, said Doyle.

The suspect, Kevin Hobbs, 48, of Newark, was arrested on charges of theft of a motor vehicle and on active warrants totaling more than $4,500 from Newark, Jersey City and Hillside in connection with various crimes.

The truck was listed as owned by Molloy Bros./The Advance Group Moving & Storage of New York and New Jersey and was valued at $84,000, Doyle said.

Hobbs was transported to Hudson County Jail in Kearny on $75,000 cash-only bail set by East Newark Municipal Court Judge Kenneth J. Lindenfelser.

– Ron Leir



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