Man Wanted In Connection With Stolen Car, Credit Card Thefts

BRANCHBURG, NJ — Authorities are searching for a man wanted in connection with a Jeep that was stolen out of Branchburg and credit cards thefts.

Elijah Harden, age 31, of East Orange is described as about 5-foot 6-inches tall, and weighing about 180 pounds.

On Sunday, March 20, at about 6:33 am, a Kenbury Road resident of Branchburg Township reported that someone had stolen her Jeep which had been parked in her driveway, said Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Thomas Chirichella.

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On March 21, a follow-up investigation by Branchburg Police found that the stolen Jeep had been frequenting a specific area in Newark. Newark Police were asked to help find the Jeep.

At about 10:35 am, a Newark Police Officer found the stolen Jeep driving on Avon Avenue. When officers tried to stop the Jeep, the driver of the stolen vehicle, identified as Harden, tried to get away but lost control and hit an unoccupied parked vehicle on Avon Avenue, authorities said.

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After trying to run away on foot, Harden was caught and charged by the Newark Police with receiving stolen property and resisting arrest. He was later released on his own recognizance pending a court appearance.

A search of the Jeep by Branchburg Detectives found 6 credit cards belonging to a North Branch resident and 1 credit card belonging to a resident of Bridgewater Township. One of the credit cards was also found to have been used to make an unauthorized purchase, said police.

On March 24, Harden was charged by Branchburg Police with fourth-degree fraudulent possession of a credit card, third-degree fraudulent use of a credit card, and fourth-degree unauthorized use of a credit card.

Harden has not yet been apprehended on the Somerset County charges and has been placed as wanted in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Branchburg Township Police Department are urging all township residents to lock their vehicles, remove all key/key fobs, and if they observe anyone suspicious to call 911 immediately.

Anyone with information relating to the whereabouts of Harden or this incident are asked to contact the Branchburg Township Police Department at 908-526-3830 or via the STOPit app.

Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line
at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be
kept confidential.

Have a news tip? Email alexis.tarrazi@patch.com.

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