MENDHAM BOROUGH, NJ (Morris County) – Authorities have arrested a man suspected in the burglary and theft of a motor vehicle in Mendham Borough, Morris County Acting Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said.
This arrest stems from the continued efforts of the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force (ATTF), implemented in 2019 to combat the growing trend of auto thefts throughout Morris County.
During the month of November 2020, Mendham Borough Detective Christopher Gobbi, with the assistance of the ATTF, investigated an unsolved burglary and theft of a motor vehicle which occurred in Mendham Borough on November 17, 2020.
Through the efforts of this joint task force, led by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and supported by the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association, Abdul Bryant, 24, was identified as a suspect after the stolen vehicle was tracked to East Orange, where Bryant was located inside the vehicle.
ATTF detectives employed a variety of investigative resources to corroborate information received that enabled them to identify Bryant as the person responsible for the burglary and theft.
Abdul Bryant, age 24 was charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree theft and third-degree conspiracy to commit burglary and theft.
A motion for pretrial detention has been filed by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and this decision is pending before the Court.
“The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office continues its commitment to this collaborative, intelligence-driven approach to solving crimes throughout Morris County. This coordinated approach of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Intelligence Unit, the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force, and the Mendham Borough Police Department led to the arrest of this individual, and they should be commended for their investigative efforts. It demonstrates our collective commitment to sharing resources in the goal of keeping Morris County safe,” Carroll said.
Carroll thanked the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Montville Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, East Hanover Police Department, and the Chatham Township Police Department for devoting resources and personnel to the Auto Theft Task Force.
During 2018, 2019, and 2020, Morris County Law Enforcement identified a significant increase in motor vehicle burglaries and thefts within Morris County. In total, there were 640 motor vehicles stolen in Morris County during this three year time period. As a result of this crime increase, the impact on the community, and the potential for violent crime to be committed during the thefts or additional crimes committed using the stolen vehicles, the Morris County Chiefs Of Police Association, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Unit, and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office devoted investigative resources to develop intelligence and target the individuals responsible for victimizing property owners residing in Morris County. As a result, the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force (ATTF) was created, which is comprised of local and county law enforcement agencies. The ATTF also works collaboratively with the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force to identify and focus investigative efforts into the organized criminal auto theft gangs that are negatively affecting the quality of life in North Jersey, including Morris County.
The shared intelligence revealed a similar pattern: the individuals targeted towns in Morris County that were upper middle income where they would seek out luxury vehicles to steal. Often, these vehicles were stolen as a result of keys or key fobs left in the vehicles themselves. Other instances occurred where vehicles were unlocked, garage door openers were used, vehicles were stolen from within garages, and other times, the individuals entered homes and stole items of value from within the residences. These incidents generally occur during the early morning hours while the residents are asleep.
“Morris County citizens are reminded to remove valuables and keys from their vehicles and make sure the vehicles are locked and secure. Please report any suspicious activity to law enforcement,” Carroll said.