EDISON — Edison police announced the arrest of five suspects today that are linked to a string of recent crimes in the township, including seven motor vehicle thefts, 13 attempted motor vehicle thefts, and one incident of burglary, criminal restraint, and simple assault.
Sgt. Michael Mintchwarner and Detective Theodore Hamer took the lead on the months-long investigation, reviewing hours of video surveillance tapes, witness accounts, and evidence and piecing the case together.
“I am very proud of the detectives involved in this very complex and widespread investigation throughout the Township,” said Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan. “Because of their dedication and hard work five criminals are off the streets and unable to continue preying on innocent victims.”
This crime spree started on Nov. 18, 2012 when a 2000 Toyota Avalon was stolen out of a garage on Hidden Hollow Court in Edison. The vehicle was later recovered in Scotch Plains at a one car accident scene. The crime spree continued as the group allegedly collectively stole six additional motor vehicles from various locations within Edison Township, including: shopping centers, a senior building, residential neighborhoods, condo complexes, and a hotel parking lot.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 11, 2012, a 2008 Acura RSX was stolen from Lavender Drive, and was recovered on Linda Lane after being involved in a one car accident and abandoned.
The series of car thefts escalated to violence on Dec. 19, 2012 at approximately 8 p.m. on Maplecrest Road. A 40-year-old male victim was taking out trash to the dumpster when he observed four male suspects walking through the parking lot peering into various vehicles. The suspects observed the victim watching them, they then confronted him, surrounded him, then began punching the victim about the face. The victim was able to get away on foot after a brief foot chase through the complex by the suspects.
When officers arrival at the scene,two stolen motor vehicles were recovered parked in the area in which the suspects were first observed. Later that evening and into the early morning hours of Dec. 20, an additional three attempted motor vehicle thefts and one completed motor vehicle theft of a 2002 Jeep Liberty occurred at the Senior Center located at 1061 Inman Avenue. The Jeep Liberty was recovered the following morning at 1045 Grove Avenue, after being involved in a one car accident and abandoned.
The individuals arrested include:
- Quincy Good, 19, of Edison, who is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center on $100,000 bail. He is charged with motor vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, burglary, criminal restraint, and simple assault. Good was taken into custody at his residence in Edison on Feb. 13 without incident.
- Shyeim Thompson, 18, of Edison, who is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center on $100,000 bail. He is charged with motor vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, burglary, and criminal restraint. Thompson was taken into custody at Edison Police Headquarters on Feb. 13.
- John E. Johnson, 25, of Edison, who is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center on $200,000 Bail. He is charged with distribution of heroin, distribution of cocaine, possession of CDS, possession of CDS within 500 feet of a public housing facility, possession of a weapon (knife), possession of a weapon while committing a CDS crime, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstruction of the administration of law, accomplice of a motor vehicle theft. Johnson was taken into custody on Feb. 1, on Weston Forbes Court in Edison following a brief foot pursuit by police.
- Duan Fleming, 22, of Edison, who is being held at the Wake County Correctional Center, North Carolina for motor vehicle theft, burglary to motor vehicles, burglary to a residence, criminal mischief, attempted theft of two motor vehicles, receiving stolen property and embezzlement within the jurisdiction of Raleigh, N.C. Fleming was taken into custody in Raleigh, N.C. on Jan. 5. Police believe Fleming fled New Jersey after learning of the ongoing investigation. Edison charges are still to be filed.
- A 16-year-old Edison resident, who was released to his parents pending a juvenile hearing. He is charged with motor vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, aid as a look-out, burglary to a motor vehicle, criminal restraint, and upon arrest at John P. Steven’s High School on Feb. 13 was found in possession of Xanax and subsequently charged with possession of CDS.
The charges against the suspects are merely accusations. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty.