ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Cooperative efforts of four police departments and the alert attention and quick action of one municipal harbor security officer resulted in the capture and arrest of the suspect in a strong-armed robbery and other offenses early Friday morning.
Police Chief David Rossbach reported that Mohammed Sam, 31, of Wheatley, New York, was remanded to the Monmouth County Jail in Freehold after a series of incidents that began in Holmdel at approximately 3 a.m. Officers in that township attempted to stop Sam in connection with a stolen vehicle. Police said Sam eluded them after their attempt to stop the suspect who driver refused to pull over. Thus began a chase through Middletown, Atlantic Highlands, and Highlands near the Middletown line. At that point, the suspect reportedly abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot and the search continued in both Highlands and Atlantic Highlands.
Harbor Security Officer Matt Kane, on duty at the Atlantic Highlands Harbor, spotted a man in the harbor area and immediately alerted Atlantic Highlands police. Officers responded immediately to the area and made the arrest.
“We were able to locate the suspect and make the arrest within minutes after he fled on foot,” Rossbach said, crediting “diligent response and an alert Harbor Security officer.”
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Highlands Police Chief Robert Burton also commended his department’s swift actions and immediate response to police reports of a suspect. “Patrolmen Kevin O’Donnell and Troy Hartsgrove were on duty and responded immediately,” the chief said, adding that Capt. George Roxby came on duty shortly therefore and also assisted in the action. Burton said the vehicular chase ended near the Highlands line on Route 36 and the foot chase extended through the Highlands side of the Henry Hudson Trail. “All of our departments work well and efficiently together,” Burton said, “and we are fortunate that an incident that could have been much more serious ended without any further problems and with no injuries. Our officers know the meaning of teamwork.”
Atlantic Highlands police first became involved when they received a report of a robbery of a patron at the TNC Min-Mart at 80 First Ave. just before 7 a.m. . Their investigation turned up further information about the stolen vehicle and driver who eluded Holmdel police. Department officers involved in the arrest in Atlantic Highlands were night shift officers Sgt. Harry Murtha, Det. Christopher Inglis, Ptl. Patrick Anderson and Dispatcher Todd Gardiner, who were joined by the dayshift officers including Sgt. Brian Phair, Patrolmen Adam Gurian and Travis Duncan, as well as Dispatcher Ryan Duncan. Det. Capt. Thomas Stone and Ptl. Scott Chenoweth also contributed to the success of the arrest and charges filed against Sam which included strong armed robbery, simple assault, possession of a weapon and hindering apprehension in connection with the First Ave. robbery.
“This was a team effort…nothing but the best. All the officers and dispatchers involved are true professionals,” Rossbach said.