WAYNE, N.J. -- Routine traffic stops turned into arrests for Wayne police -- one when they found a passenger wanted on warrants for skipping court in six different jurisdictions and the other after a man claimed his cellphone was stolen.
Officer Tomasz Cydzik stopped one of the vehicles Sunday afternoon at Route 23 South and Fairfield Road, Capt. Laurence Martin said.
The registered owner had an expired driver’s license and the front passenger wasn't wearing a seat belt, he said.
The passenger -- who told Cydzik that another occupant could take over the driving -- "began making up [personal] information, changing dates of birth and associated names" and couldn't produce ID, Martin said.
Police identified him as Nicholas Rojas, 19, of Wayne, the captain said, adding that he was wanted for not appearing to answer charges in Wayne, West Caldwell, Prospect Park and Paterson, as well as on a no-bail warrant from the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office on heroin-dealing charges.
What's more, Rojas was wanted on a juvenile probation warrant out of Superior Court in Passaic County, Martin said.
Rojas was being held in the Passaic County Jail. Besides the warrants, he was charged by Wayne police with hindering apprehension. He also received a seat belt summons.
The driver was issued a motor vehicle ticket for being unlicensed driver and released.
Twelve or so hours earlier, Offiicer Brain Bradford was approached in the Mountain View commercial district by someone who said he loaned a girl his cellphone that she took off with in a blue Hyundai with four other people.
Bradford caught up to them at the Stahl Plaza shopping center.
The driver, 25-year-old Randy Washington, "admitted that he had three unidentified women in his car all students from Caldwell University and he could not remember their names," Martin said.
No stolen cellphone was found in the car, he said.
However, Martin said, Washington smelled of alcohol and subsequently failed a field sobriety test.
Officer Mark Ciavirella arrested Washington on DWI charges at headquarters, where a responsible adult picked him up, the captain said.