Minivan Owner Allegedly Makes Up Carjacking
Stolen Honda Odyssey leads police on a high speed chase through Verona; owner allegedly lied to police about being carjacked in order to get them to the scene faster.
Verona Police scrambled to clear roads as a stolen Honda led police on a high-speed pursuit through several towns on Tuesday March 5, while a Paterson man allegedly lied about a carjacking in order to get a quicker response time from police.
Police say Terrence Byrd claimed a car thief brandished a handgun and took his 2013 Honda Odyssey from the A Plus Sunoco station at the intersection of Passaic Avenue and Greenbrook Road on March 5 at approximately 11 p.m.
A police investigation revealed Byrd fabricated the part about the gun in order to get officers to the scene quicker, which it did, according to police.
Byrd has been charged with filing a false police report.
“Mr. Byrd’s actions put a great number of people at risk including the public and the police officers who pursued the stolen vehicle believing the suspects were armed and dangerous,” Fairfield Deputy Chief Anthony Manna said in a release.
Byrd told police he left his Honda running and occupied when three men in a pickup truck pulled into the gas station. One of the men fled south on Passaic Avenue in the Odyssey followed by the pickup truck, he told police.
The thieves eluded police in a pursuit, which began near the intersection of Bloomfield and Passaic Avenues in West Caldwell, and continued through Caldwell, Verona and West Orange, where they are believed to have driven onto Route 280.
“Our action was to make sure the roads were clear,” said Verona Chief of Police Douglas Huber. “They were going way too fast, in excess of 60 miles per hour down Bloomfield Avenue and then turned onto Lakeside Avenue into West Orange.”
“We made sure that intersection was clear,” he said. “We don't want them hitting an innocent victim.”
Byrd is scheduled to appear in Fairfield Municipal Court on March 14.