For Immediate Release: December 29, 2022
Middletown – On December 28, 2022 at 3:30p.m., Middletown Police Officer Tony Perito responded to a report of a shoplifting at the Verizon store located at 747 Route 35. The store employee reported that a black male subject had entered the store and stole an Apple iPhone 14 that was on display. The actor then fled in a black Nissan Maxima with Pennsylvania registration that was occupied by additional subjects.
Approximately 15 minutes later, Middletown Police Officer Patrick Leonard was checking the Verizon store located at 642 Newman Springs Road in the Lincroft section of the township, to ensure that employees there would be aware of the events at the other store. While there, Officer Leonard observed the Nissan Maxima and initiated a motor vehicle stop. The actors refused to stop, and police began to pursue the vehicle, heading north on Middletown Lincroft Road. The pursuit was terminated by police in the area of Middletown Lincroft Road and Nutswamp Road out of concern for the safety of the public.
Information from concerned citizens led officers to believe that the suspect vehicle had driven into a side street off Nutswamp Rd. Officer Jason Andrews began patrolling the neighborhoods and located the suspect vehicle abandoned and unoccupied on Confield Court. Middletown Police began flooding the area, and three subjects were observed on Nutswamp Road in the area of South Lake Drive. Investigation on scene resulted in the arrest of the three subjects in connection with the shoplifting and eluding.
Illyas Bass, 34, of Fresh Meadow, NY, was charged with Shoplifting, Employing a juvenile in the commission of a crime, Conspiracy, Possession of burglary tools, Contempt of court, Eluding, and numerous motor vehicle offenses. Bass was processed and lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending a detention hearing.
Harris John, 35, of Jamaica, NY, was charged with Shoplifting, Employing a juvenile in the commission of a crime, Conspiracy, Possession of oxycodone, and Possession of burglary tools. John was processed and lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending a detention hearing.
Last, a 15 year old juvenile from Brooklyn, NY was taken into custody and charged with Criminal Mischief, Shoplifting, Possession of burglary tools, and Unlawful possession of a weapon. The juvenile was processed and released to a guardian pending a hearing in Monmouth County Superior Court, Family Part.
Chief of Police R. Craig Weber stated, “This incident is a great example of the Middletown Police Department’s professionalism and dedication to our community. The work of these officers brought this case to a safe and successful conclusion. Additionally, we thank the members of the public who assisted us. The information and support we received proved very beneficial to our case and is greatly appreciated.”
If anyone has additional information, they are asked to contact the Middletown Police Detective Bureau at (732) 615-2120.
Any persons arrested or charged with offenses are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Additionally, except in specific circumstances, arrest and complaint information and names of those charged may be released.
Contact: Deputy Chief Paul Bailey, Public Information Officer
Desk: (732) 615-2066