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Man charged with auto theft in Morris County

MOUNTAIN LAKES BOROUGH, NJ (Morris County) – An Essex County Man has been charged in connection with motor vehicle theft investigation in Morris County, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll.

On August 15, 2021, the Mountain Lakes police responded to a residence for a report of a 2017 black Maserati Ghibli that had been stolen, Carroll said.

During the initial investigation of the stolen vehicle, it was learned that a man also attempted to steal a 2021 Audi Q7 from a nearby residence. The Maserati was recovered in Newark later that morning Carroll said.

A subsequent investigation and information provided by surrounding law enforcement agencies identified Raymond Branch, 18, of Newark as a suspect, Carroll said.

Cellular telephone records, provided by Essex County authorities, were analyzed by Mountain Lakes Police and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Unit. It was learned that Branch used real estate and mapping applications on his cellular phone in the area of the theft in Mountain Lakes on the morning of August 15, Carroll said.

Members of the Morris County Sheriff’s Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) section forensically processed the Maserati, which resulted in the recovery of a latent fingerprint from the front driver door window interior, matching to Branch, Carroll said.

As a result of this investigations, Branch was charged with third-degree theft by unlawful taking, and two counts of third-degree conspiracy to commit theft, Carroll said.

Branch is currently lodged in the Somerset County Correctional Facility on separate theft charges, Carroll said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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