MIDDLETOWN, NJ - On September 29, 2011 at approximately 10:00 am members of the Middletown Police Detective Bureau and officers assigned to the Middletown Police Quality of Life Unit tracked down and arrested a suspect wanted for stealing a car in Belford and leading police on a high speed pursuit on September 22, 2011. Police say the suspect, identified as Jaime Fontanez, age 34, of Livingston St., in Elizabeth, NJ was responsible for stealing a 2010 Audi which was later recovered in Elizabeth, NJ. Middletown Police developed information which led them to a residence on Lafayette Street in Elizabeth, where they located Fontanez and took him into custody with the assistance of the Elizabeth Police Dept.
Police also recovered two additional vehicles parked near the residence, which had been reported as stolen from Madison and Chatham, New Jersey. Police say the defendant, Fontanez, was found to be in possession of the keys to one of the other stolen cars at the time of his arrest.
The Middletown Police had previously arrested a co-defendant on September 22, 2011 who was identified as Priscilla Velazco, age 26, also from Livingston St., in Elizabeth. Velazco was driving a stolen Land Rover at the time of her arrest, which had been taken from Englewood, NJ.
The Middletown Police Department believes that Fontanez is a member of a stolen car ring responsible for the theft of over 40 expensive luxury vehicles throughout the state. Police have charged Fontanez with Theft, Conspiracy, and Eluding and his bail was set at $ 100,000.00 by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Richard English. Fontanez was also charged with Receiving Stolen Property by the Elizabeth Police Department and additional complaints are expected to be signed by other police agencies. Fontanez remains in the custody of the Middletown Police and will be lodged in the Monmouth County Jail.
The investigation was led by Middletown Police Detective Lieutenant Stephen Dollinger, with the assistance of Middletown Police Detective Laurence Schachtel, and Police Officers Keith Hirschbein, Michael Reuter, and Nicholas Fenezia. Police credit the hard work of the officers involved as leading to the successful apprehension of the suspects and the recovery of the stolen vehicles.