Two New York men were charged Wednesday in a series of iPhone thefts from retailers in Middlesex County and Morris County.
Willie Winfield, 33, and Aaron Richard, 22, both of Staten Island, were charged Wednesday afternoon for stealing iPhones from the Verizon store on Route 1. Police later linked the two suspects to iPhone thefts in Morris County that occurred on Tuesday.
At 2 p.m. yesterday, the two suspects allegedly walked into the Verizon store in the South Brunswick Square Mall at 4095 Route 1. A store employee allegedly observed the suspects rip two iPhones from tethers that connected them to the display wall, police said.
The two suspects then ran from the store into the mall's parking lot, entered a vehicle and fled from the scene. A store employee was able to provide police with the vehicle description and license plate number.
About ten minutes later, North Brunswick Police stopped the suspect vehicle on the off ramp from Route 1 north to Route 18. A subsequent investigation recovered five iPhones in the vehicle, one of which was connected to a Morris County theft through accessing the contact list on the phone, according to police.
A contact on the phone labeled “Mom" gave investigators a North Jersey phone number that a Morris County woman called from a Verizon store in Morris County on a display phone. Police then contacted that Verizon store on Route 10 in Morris Plains and discovered that a similar theft occurred on Tuesday.
Winfield was charged with possession of stolen property and shoplifting. He was lodged in the Middlesex County Correction Center in North Brunswick in lieu of $3,500 bail. Richard was charged with shoplifting and was released after posting bail.