BRANCHBURG TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – A Hudson County man is facing charges of eluding and theft in Branchburg Township, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
On Thursday, September 14, at around 3:09 p.m. a Branchburg police officer attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop of a grey Nissan Altima travelling northbound on Lamington Road for various traffic violations including speeding, Robertson said.
The vehicle failed to stop and continued traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer subsequently terminated the pursuit within a few minutes on Rattlesnake Bridge Road in Bedminster Township, Robertson said.
A further investigation into the vehicle and the driver revealed that the vehicle had recently been “traded” in Branchburg Township by the vehicles registered owner and a male who was later identified as Robert Raymond Piel Jr., 23, of Bayonne, Robertson said.
The “trade” which consisted of exchanging vehicles was agreed upon via social media. It was subsequently discovered that the documents provided to the owner of the Nissan Altima by Piel Jr. during the “trade” were fraudulent, Robertson said.
Then on Monday, October 18, the same Nissan Altima which fled from Branchburg Police was observed in Essex County being operated by Piel Jr. who was subsequently arrested on unrelated charges, Robertson said.
Piel Jr. was charged on October 21 with second-degree eluding and third-degree theft by deception. The Somerset County charges were used as a detainer as Piel Jr. was currently lodged at the Essex County Jail, Robertson said.
Anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the Branchburg 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.