WESTFIELD – JUNE 10, 2021 – Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro has announced the arrest of a 19-year old Westfield man on numerous charges related to recent vehicle burglaries and thefts.
Justin T. Bass was arrested on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at approximately 5:15 PM by Westfield Police Department detectives and patrol officers, just after he was observed leaving his residence on the 1000 block of Lawrence Avenue as a passenger in a vehicle traveling south on Lawrence Avenue.
At the time of the his arrest, Bass was wanted on a second degree charge of Receiving Stolen Property, 2C:20-7A, this specifically for his possession of a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee reported stolen from driveway of a residence located on the 10 block of Bennett Place during the overnight hours on Thursday, April 29, 2021, and a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee reported stolen from the driveway of a residence located on the 500 block of Sherwood Parkway during the overnight hours on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The total value of these stolen vehicles was in excess of $75,000.
Bass was also wanted on the following additional charges: second degree Conspiracy to Receive Stolen Property, 2C:5-2A(1), and third degree Forgery, 2C:21-1A(1), this for attempting to electronically deposit a check which was reportedly stolen from an unlocked vehicle on the 100 block of Golf Edge during the overnight hours on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
Bass was also wanted on a third degree charge of Eluding, 2C:29-9B, this as a result of an incident occurring in Passaic City on Friday, May 7, 2020, in which he fled from members of the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force, who were trying to apprehend him while he was operating the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee stolen from the driveway of the residence located on the 500 block of Sherwood Parkway.
Bass resisted yesterday’s attempt to place him under arrest. Two (2) detectives and a patrol officer were injured during the physical struggle to take him into custody. Bass will face additional charges as a result.
Chief Battiloro praised the collaborative efforts of the New Jersey State Police and the Westfield Police Department’s Detective Bureau in combatting Westfield’s on-going vehicle theft problem. A Westfield Police Department detective has been assigned full-time to the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force since March of last year. Additionally, a Westfield Police Department patrol officer is temporarily assigned there as well.
“We continue to devote an incredible amount of time and effort towards investigations of vehicle burglaries and thefts, and the New Jersey State Police has provided us with a tremendous amount of support,” stated Chief Battiloro, who noted that all eleven (11) vehicles reported stolen in Westfield in 2021 have been quickly recovered.
Subsequent to his arrest, Bass was transported to the Westfield Police Department for processing. He was then transported to the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, where he will be remanded pending a detention hearing in Passaic County Superior Court.
Chief Battiloro stated the investigations of five (5) recent vehicle thefts occurring between Sunday, April 25, 2021, and Friday, May 7, 2021 remain “on-going” and that additional charges related to these incidents are likely forthcoming. Two (2) of these vehicle thefts also involved burglaries to private residences.
Chief Battiloro also stressed that not one person or group of persons is likely responsible for all of Westfield’s vehicle thefts, and that residents must remain vigilant, be observant, and report any and all suspicious persons, vehicles and/or activities immediately via 9-1-1.
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