2 of 3 teens who stole Jeep arrested in Secaucus; 1 stole police car, joy rode through Kearny

Three teenagers who reportedly stole a Jeep in Jersey City drove it to Secaucus and then one of the three suspects escaped, jumped into a marked Secaucus radio car, took a joyride to Jersey City, Kearny and Newark, before ultimately ditching the car in Hillside.

And when all was said and done, one suspect was never caught, another was released and the third was sent to juvenile detention.

According to the Secaucus Police Department:

On July 8, 2024 at 2:42 a.m., Police Officer Paul Miller located an occupied stolen 2018 Jeep Wrangler at a Sunoco Gas Station at 249 Route 3 E. The vehicle was reportedly stolen from Jersey City on June 26, 2024.

When Secaucus Police Department marked units converged on the stolen Jeep, the driver, later ID’d as a 15-year-old Jersey City boy, he allegedly intentionally rammed two occupied Secaucus police vehicles in an attempt to evade capture, whereby one police officer sustained a knee injury.

At this point, the driver and two passengers fled the stolen vehicle on foot.

Sgt. Aniello Schaffer apprehended the front-seat passenger, a 16-year-old Jersey City boy, a short distance away. Police Officers Dwight Wise and William Smith pursued the 15-year-old driver on foot onto Route 3 and apprehended him.

A third suspect, the rear-seat passenger in the stolen Jeep, then jumped into a marked police vehicle and sped off. Secaucus officers pursued the stolen radio car through Jersey City, Kearny and Newark. Kearny units engaged in the pursuit of the stolen police vehicle. Although officers eventually lost sight of the car, it was later tracked to Hillside, where police there located it.

The third suspect, suspect, remains at large.


“The 15-year-old male driver was just released from the electronic bracelet program last month from previous arrests involving violence and is back committing crimes,” Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller said. “Although they are 15 and 16 year olds, these juveniles are criminals and their actions bolster my opinion that they will continue to commit crimes without fear of repercussion.

“It needs to be recognized that our juvenile justice system needs to be reformed to hold juveniles accountable or this recidivism will continue. We must acknowledge that not every juvenile can be rehabilitated and must give prosecutors the tools needed to prosecute these criminals or they will continue to plague our communities. I also want to thank all the agencies that assisted us including the Kearny and Hillside police departments New Jersey State Police and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.”

The 15-year–old driver was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon (vehicle) for an unlawful purpose, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and conspiracy to commit receiving a stolen vehicle.

He was remanded the Morris County Youth Detention Facility.

The 16-year-old passenger was charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, resisting arrest and conspiracy to commit receiving a stolen vehicle.

He was released into the custody of his parents, pending appearance in family court.

The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests and/or charges may follow. Anyone with additional information may contact the Secaucus Police Department’s Detective Division at (201) 330-2052 or detectivedivsion@secaucusnjpolice.gov.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.