BRANCHBURG TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – A Somerset County man accused of stealing a car from a business on Route 22 in Branchburg Township has been arrested, according to Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart.
On Thursday, April 28, at around 11:35 a.m., police responded to a business on Route 22 for a report of a motor vehicle theft, Taggart said.
Upon their arrival, investigating officers spoke with the victim who reported that her vehicle had been parked outside of her place of employment. A review of the video surveillance cameras outside of the business showed a man enter into the unlocked vehicle, exit the parking lot, and travel East on Route 22, Taggart said.
With the assistance of the victim, investigating officers were able to determine that the vehicle was driven to Somerville where it was parked in the area of Mechanic Street. Within a short period of time, Somerville Police located the parked stolen vehicle, Taggart said.
A Somerville Police Officer was also able to identify the male in the business surveillance video as being James Owens, 39, of Somerville, Taggart said.
On Sunday, May 1, at around 8:28 p.m., Somerville Police Officers located Owens after receiving a report of a suspicious male in the area of Rehill Avenue, in Somerville. Responding Somerville officers took Owens into custody without incident. Somerville Police then turned him over to Branchburg police, Taggart said.
Owens was charged with third-degree theft and was then lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a bail detention hearing, Taggart said.
Acting Prosecutor Taggart reminds the public to never leave the keys or the key fob in your vehicle. Leaving your keys or key fob in your unlocked vehicle gives thieves the opportunity they are seeking.
Anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the Branchburg Township Police Department at 908-526-3830 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.