STOLEN VEHICLE PURSUIT

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On Thursday, October 30th 2014 at approximately 5am officers of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department engaged in a pursuit of a stolen vehicle. Headquarters and cars on the road received radio traffic that Closter NJ Police Department was pursuing a Honda Odyssey mini-van eastbound on Closter Dock Road towards US Route 9-W. At the same time, an unmarked detective vehicle was seen pursuing a blue Jeep Grand Cherokee also eastbound on Closter Dock Road and onto southbound US Route 9W. Officers Michael Griffin and Joseph Villone engaged in assisting the lone officer with the vehicle pursuit southbound on US Route 9W.

The pursuit continued through Tenafly, Englewood Cliffs and into Fort Lee when the Jeep lost control on the southbound Route 9W ramp to Southbound Fletcher Avenue. The Jeep proceeded through the ramp and onto the southbound Palisades Interstate Parkway ramp to Leonine Ave (Route 9W). The Jeep then went over a guardrail, struck several trees and overturned before landing at the bottom of a ditch. Officers from this agency as well as assisting agencies converged on the crash site however the operator had already began flight on foot.

A perimeter was set up and officers from several agencies, including Fort Lee and Bergen County Police K-9, conducted an area canvas with negative results. At approximately the same time, headquarters received a call that a grey in color Honda Odyssey had crashed into the southbound Palisades Interstate Parkway Sunoco Gas Station. First arriving officers discovered that the van had entered the parking lot and drove over the concrete perimeter curbing. Bystanders reported three occupants had fled the vehicle just after the crash.

Investigation revealed that the Honda Odyssey was the same vehicle as originally pursued by Closter NJ Police. The Jeep, which had crashed on Lemoine Avenue in Fort Lee, had been stolen out of Sparkill NY (Rockland County) overnight and discovered when local officers were dispatched to notify the registered owner of the recovery.

At the time of this writing no occupants in either vehicle have been apprehended and a multi-agency, coordinated investigation is still ongoing.

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