The pursuit of two alleged car thieves started in Fairfield and ended in a search on West Caldwell streets early Tuesday morning.
Police say two people are in custody after they, along with officers from West Caldwell and other surrounding towns, fanned out on Passaic Avenue near Knoll Terrace.
Monique Spencer, 23, of Newark, was found hiding behind an air conditioning unit on Knoll Terrace, and Mustafa Berry, 26, also of Newark, was discovered along a creek near 319 Passaic Avenue by an Essex County K-9 unit, according to Fairfield Police.
Both have been charged with two counts each of receiving stolen property and eluding police.
The incident began just after midnight in Fairfield when Officer Gerald Veneziano spotted a brown Volkswagen Passat which he believed matched the description of a car stolen in West Caldwell on Oct. 10. A similar car was reportedly seen near a Hillside Drive home in Fairfield where a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee was recently taken while left running in the driveway.
Veneziano lost sight of the Passat near Westville Avenue in West Caldwell. The car was later discovered by West Caldwell Police crashed and abandoned on the front lawn of a house on Passaic Avenue.
Police say a woman’s purse found in the Passat Tuesday matched a purse that was inside the stolen Jeep.
Spencer and Berry were being held Tuesday afternoon at the Fairfield Police Department awaiting bail and/or being moved to the Essex County Jail. A court date has been set for Oct. 24.
Police also searched unsuccesfully for another pair of car thieves Tuesday morning. A car that was left running near the condominium complex on Bovensierpen Court in Roseland was reported stolen at 7:27 a.m.