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Thieves Came to Town to 'Steal High-End Vehicles,' Police Say

Elizabeth men accused of stealing Mercedes-Benz from Washington Township driveway in October.

Two Elizabeth men have been charged with stealing a Mercedes-Benz from the driveway of a Long Valley home three months after the crime occurred, Washington Township Police reported.

The luxury vehicle, plucked from the driveway of a Wolfe Run Court home on Oct. 24, 2013, was found by the City of Elizabeth police department, Lt. Mark Niemynski said. Once the vehicle was found, suspects were developed and an investigation was launched, Niemynski said.

One of the suspects, Jason Madrey, 29, was already in Union County Jail on unrelated charges, and was interviewed by Washington Township Police last Friday, Niemynski said. He told police he and another man, Jaime Fontanez, 37, traveled to Washington Township with “the intent to steal high-end vehicles,” Niemynski said.

Madrey admitted stealing the Mercedes-Benz and to burglarizing another vehicle while in town, Niemynski said. More evidence was developed to bring charges against Fontanez, who was also in Union County Jail on unrelated charges.

Niemynski said the men randomly chose the house and had no connection to the homeowner, and that they chose Long Valley after doing a random search on "nice places to live."

Bail has not yet been set by local police for either men. Both were charged with motor vehicle theft, conspiracy, and burglary to a vehicle. 

The vehicle's condition was not yet known.

The latter half of 2013 saw a rash of car burglaries and break-ins in and around Long Valley, and police are reminding residents to keep their vehicles locked as well as removing valuables when the car is unattended.

For questions about this post, email jason.koestenblatt@patch.com.

J henderson January 30, 2014 at 03:38 PM
So, I guess the accusations that the homeowner had it stolen were a bit premature.
Chuck Ruff January 30, 2014 at 05:46 PM
I certainly hope the story frightens people enough so they don't leave their cars in their driveways, unlocked and with the keys in them. Our town is not that safe!
RIFFIAN666 January 31, 2014 at 09:25 AM
I still think there is more to the story... who steals a car from a long driveway, on a remote cul-de-sac, and the keys just happen to be in the car????
Tracy Tobin January 31, 2014 at 10:12 AM
No town is so safe that people can leave keys in their car, wallets/cash/cell phones in plain sight in an unlocked car, etc. Yet people in our town do that frequently.
Chuck Ruff January 31, 2014 at 11:43 AM
...and that's especially true if you live on a street that is right off a main thoroughfare, the way Wolfe Run Ct is right off Rte 517. Thieves often look for places where there's an easy getaway.

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