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.
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