LINDEN – Police investigating a reported car burglary at a Linden bowling alley helped catch a suspect accused of stealing a car from a city department store’s parking lot Wednesday.
Elizabeth resident Ricardo Valentine, 39, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property when police determined that he was driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen.
On June 16, just before 6 p.m., officers were sent to the parking lot of Jersey Lanes on North Park Avenue to investigate a reported car burglary. Surveillance video showed that the suspect’s vehicle was a 1989 gray Chevy Cavalier station wagon.
While they were on the scene, officers learned that a car matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle had just been stolen from the parking lot of Kohl’s on East Linden Avenue. An officer used his wireless phone to distribute a photo of the suspect’s vehicle to officers on patrol.
Officer Pete Hammer spotted the suspect’s vehicle turning on to South Stiles Street at 7:12 p.m. He radioed for assistance and stopped the car at North Stiles Street and Knopf Street. When the vehicle was confirmed as the one reported stolen from Kohl’s parking lot, police arrested Valentine.
Hammer observed a baseball bat and screwdriver laying on the front seat of the car, along with several women’s pocketbooks and electronic items, police said. Police received three more reported of burglarized vehicles at Lucille Roberts and WalMart on West Edgar Road. Officers identified items similar to those taken in the burglaries and police were attempting to determine ownership.
Valentine was being held at Union County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail, and police expect to file additional charges against him.
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