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December 21, 2017

N.J. State Police: 16-year-old stole unmarked car, used it for crime spree

Police Crime
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Logo for the New Jersey State Police.

A 16-year-old boy is accused of stealing a New Jersey state trooper's unmarked police car and using it to go on a crime spree around Middlesex County.

The teen, whose name was not released because he is a minor, allegedly robbed two motorists with the vehicle and fueled it up at a gas station without paying on Sunday morning. He then left the car later that day after stealing it sometime before 5:45 a.m. Sunday from the trooper's home in North Brunswick, state police said in a statement.

State police and North Brunswick detectives arrested the teen on Wednesday after forensic analysis of evidence recovered during the investigation led authorities to him, police said. Police also said they recovered two police-issued guns that had been in the car when it was stolen.

The trooper saw that the car was missing from his driveway and reported it stolen around 9:39 a.m., police said.

Police did not identify the trooper involved. They also did not say how the teen may have stolen the car or if the trooper would face disciplinary action.

"The matter is the subject of an ongoing investigation," Sgt. Jeff Flynn, a State Police spokesman, told NJ.com. "We are not at liberty to release that information."

In all, police tied the theft with four incidents that took place around the county that morning.

The teen allegedly stopped two drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike at 5:45 a.m. and 6:50 a.m. He is accused of stealing cash from one driver and identifying himself as a trooper to the other driver, allegedly asking that driver to fork over cash as a fine for speeding, police said.

He is then accused of filling up the car with fuel and not paying at a gas station on St. George Avenue in Colonia around 7:19 a.m. At 7:30 a.m., the teen then stopped a cab at the Woodbridge Center Mall and stole cash from the driver, police said.

Police noted that the teen did not brandish a weapon in any of the incidents and that the car was recovered in New Brunswick later that day.

The teen was charged with burglary and theft, and he faces multiple counts of robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon and impersonating a police officer, authorities said.