CLIFTON, N.J. -- A teenage bus rider pretended to lose his cellphone as he got off in Clifton so he could snatch cash from the driver's hand while everyone was distracted, authorities charged.
The NJ Transit driver chased Mohammad Bajes, 18, onto Notch Road off Broad Street and lost him after he turned down a side street around 1:30 p.m., but responding police officers and members of the Passaic County Sheriff's Department set up a perimeter, Detective Lt. Robert Bracken said.
Soon after, Officer Michael Adamo "noticed suspicious activity near a residence on Highview Drive," Bracken said.
He and other officer then discovered Bajes hiding in someone's basement and took him into custody without incident, the lieutenant said.
Police charged him with theft, recovered the cash and returned it to the bus driver.