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Sheriff's Officer Chases Down Runaway Car Headed Toward Wayne Mall

Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik
Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik Photo Credit: COURTESY: Passaic County Sheriff

WAYNE, N.J. — An officer chased down and stopped a runaway car headed toward the Macy's building at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne Friday and took four joy-riding juveniles into custody.

Sheriff's Officer Joseph Royce saw a Honda Civic that was reported stolen parked in a fire lane in front of Macy's with four teens inside around 2:15 p.m. Friday, Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said.The driver headed toward eastbound Route 46 when Royce tried to pull them over.

All four then jumped out and tried to take off without putting the vehicle in park, Berdnik said. The car rolled toward the entrance of Macy's but Royce got in and stopped it in time.

Royce then ran after the driver and grabbed him inside Macy's, the sheriff said

The three others were taken into custody by members of the Wayne Police Department and Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, Berdnik said.

Three are 15 years old and one 16. All live in Essex County. They were released to a parent or guardian pending hearings in the Family Division of Superior Court in Paterson on delinquency complaints of joy riding and resisting arrest, the sheriff said. The driver received an additional count of receiving stolen property.

The sheriff commended Royce for his "quick action."

"In addition to helping arrest four suspects," Berdnik said, "he was able to stop a vehicle that could have caused harm to mall patrons and damage to private property."

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