Middletown Police Cpl. Robert McNair ended up making a key arrest on Monday when he attempted to halt a motorcyclist for a motor vehicle violation on Route 36 near Main Street in Belford.
The motorcyclist tried to flee and lost control of the bike, sustaining injuries that sent him to the hospital. Further investigation by the Middletown Police revealed that the bike was stolen out of Matawan, which led to an investigation into the 21-year old driver, James J. Jeffrey, who has since been charged by police departments in Matawan, Aberdeen and Old Bridge for serious crimes related to robbery, burglary and possession of weapon.
According to police reports in recent days, the former Cliffwood Beach resident is alleged to have brandished a knife to hold up a cab driver on March 26 in Old Bridge and
conspire with a Belmar man to rob another cab driver on Wednesday, April 9 in Aberdeen.
On Saturday, April 12, police say
he robbed a 7-Eleven on Morristown Road in Old Bridge at 6:13 a.m. by showing a knife. Police say he turned up at the Main Street Matawan Quick-Chek on Sunday night around 11:30 p.m., where
he allegedly robbed the store at 11:30 p.m. by holding a blade to the neck of the female cashier. Early Monday morning, around 5 a.m., police say he
attempted to break into a house through the kitchen window of a house in a Matawan cul-de-sac but got away again, before police could arrive.
It was around noon on Monday when he was finally stopped by Middletown Police on a motorcycle stolen out of Matawan.
Lt. Smith said that when Matawan police arrested Jeffrey, he admitted to the armed robbery and break-in.
“It's an interesting case," said Smith. "He definitely went on a crime spree. We’re glad nobody got hurt in this, because that's where it was going."
The Matawan and Old Bridge Police agencies charged him with robbery in the first degree, robbery by injury or threat, possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Aberdeen Police have
charged him with
conspiracy to commit robbery in connection to the April 9 taxicab robbery.
Middletown Police charged Jeffrey with receiving stolen property and eluding, said Lt. Stephen Dollinger.
He is currently being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold on more than $272,000 bail, no ten percent option. His initial appearance before a judge is scheduled for April 21.
Jeffrey told police that his most recent address was on State Route 812 in Harrisville in northern NY and that he is a former resident of Cliffwood Beach in Aberdeen. According to Aberdeen Police, his last known address was on Woodland Drive.
Detectives on the case included Matawan Police Detective Joseph Lovallo and Steve Sakowski; Aberdeen Police Officer Martin Walsh, Det. Sgt. Hank Chevalier, and Det. Louis Nanna; and Old Bridge Police Detectives Michael Blahota and Michael Machen
An arrest is not a conviction, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless found guilty in a trial.