HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Due to multiple thefts occurring in recent weeks at the Ulta Beauty Store in Cedar Knolls and the State, Det. Peter Hermans was conducting surveillance when he observed a vehicle containing multiple individuals driving suspiciously through the parking lot approximately 15 minutes before Ulta closing on Thursday, February 23.
The vehicle backed into a parking spot close to the store and was left running with its headlights on. Several of the occupants exited the vehicle and entered Ulta carrying large bags.
Det. Hermans radioed in the plate number to dispatch. Approximately a minute later, the individuals came running out of the store towards their parked running vehicle carrying bags stuffed with stolen merchandise.
Det. Hermans exited his vehicle, identified himself as a police officer, and ordered the suspects to stop running and to put their hands up. The suspects ignored his order, entered the vehicle, and accelerated, causing Det. Hermans jumped out of the way of the vehicle. Det. Hermans broadcast the description and direction the vehicle fled.
Soon after his broadcast, Officer Tim Dalgauer radioed that he located the vehicle on Hanover Ave. and was attempting to stop them. The vehicle refused to stop for its lights and sirens and continued on Hanover Avenue until the driver lost control and crashed on Burnham Road in Morris Township. All five occupants fled the crash site, and a foot pursuit commenced. Officer Dalgauer could chase and immediately apprehend three of the five suspects when they got tangled in a large bush. The other two suspects were eventually captured walking on Hanover Avenue covered in mud. Three of the five suspects were juveniles (Two females and one male) and were charged with shoplifting, conspiracy to commit shoplifting, obstruction, and resisting arrest. We later learned that the male juvenile is wanted for stealing over $200,000.00 worth of merchandise from 25 other thefts from Ulta’s throughout the state.
The juveniles were transported to the county youth detention center pending court dates. Ms. Jade Lindsey, New York, and Ms. Catherine Sanoja, 28, New York, were charged with several offenses. Ms. Sanoja was charged with shoplifting, conspiracy to commit shoplifting, eluding, resisting arrest, aggravated assault on law enforcement officers, obstruction, and employing a juvenile to commit a crime. Ms. Lindsey was charged with shoplifting. Conspiracy to commit shoplifting, obstruction, resisting arrest, and employing a juvenile to commit a crime. Both were lodged in the county jail pending their court dates. Multiple bags of merchandise from the Cedar Knolls Ulta were recovered from the vehicle valued at over $20,000.00. Several other bags with an unknown value from other locations were also recovered. No injuries were reported during this incident.
Editor’s Note: An arrest or signing of a criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.