U.S. Marshals Track Down Newark's Carjacking Problems

NEWARK— The U.S. Marshals Service has teamed up with Newark police to fight carjackings in the state’s largest city, tracking down fugitives to bolster investigations into the crime surge.
Authorities arrested 25 people on various charges last week, including a Newark man the Marshals Service said was wanted in connection with an October armed carjacking.
Last week’s operation is one of several efforts to combat Newark’s year-long surge in carjackings. A separate task force including Newark police and federal authorities has already resulted in 18 arrests.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also asked acting U.S. Marshal Donald Rackley to help out, and Newark Police spokeswoman Detective Josephine Santaniello said federal marshals worked with the city to draw up a plan in December.
Authorities compiled a list of about 20 people — either connected to suspects or on parole after serving time for carjacking — with warrants out for their arrest. That ranged from unpaid child support to aggravated assault with a weapon, Assistant Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Cannon said.
"Whatever we could find, we would go after them on," he said. "Some of the warrants aren’t serious, but it gave us an excuse to engage these people and get them off the streets."
The prized catch was Tyshan Watson, who was wanted since October 2010 for armed carjacking, Cannon said.
On Jan. 27, after the previous night’s heavy snowfall, marshals spotted him near the corner of South Orange and 18th Street. He took off on foot, and the marshals chased him through the snow, Cannon said. The footprints led to the back of a house. Authorities almost didn’t find him — he was hiding under two women in bed, Cannon said
"That’s one less guy who’s going to put a gun in someone’s ear while they’re driving to work," he said. "When we brought him into Newark police, they were happy to see him."
Although Watson was the only person arrested on an actual carjacking charge, Cannon said last week’s operation was aimed at developing information for future arrests and prosecutions.
Once known as the country’s carjacking capital, Newark saw a 70 percent jump in carjackings last year, with 288 incidents in 2010 compared to 169 in 2009, according to Essex County authorities. There were 80 carjackings in November and December alone, causing panic and anger among residents, clergy and city leaders.
Last month, acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino said a bulk of the carjackings during the holiday season were caused by three separate crews of juveniles who were "attacking motorists for sport."
Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy, who described carjacking as a "thrill crime" last week, said many stolen vehicles were found by police less than an hour later and only a few blocks away from the scene of the crime.
By Chris Megerian and James Queally/Star-Ledger staff
Courtesy of NJ.Com 

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