Carjacking Suspects Try To Use Taxi As Getaway Vehicle In Linden Home Depot Robbery

A Flemington man is under arrest following an alleged carjacking that occurred on Route 1 on Monday.

The incident began on Monday, May 16, 2022 when Manuel Martinho, 51, of Flemington and an unidentified accomplice hired a taxi to take them from Elizabeth to the Linden Home Depot, 701 W. Edgar Rd. Following their arrival in Linden just after 1:00 p.m., Martinho entered the store while the taxi waited in the parking lot. Martinho exited the store a few minutes later, loaded merchandise into the trunk of the taxi, and requested that the driver return to Elizabeth.

The taxi left the scene, traveling north on Route 1 back toward Elizabeth. While approaching the intersection of S. Park Ave the taxi driver, a 78-year-old man from Elizabeth, was notified by the taxi dispatcher to return to Home Depot.

The men screamed at the driver to ignore the order, but when the driver made the U-turn Manuel allegedly began punching him repeatedly until he fell out of the vehicle. Manuel reportedly took control of the vehicle and continued traveling north on Route 1.

The victim was treated on scene for minor injuries.

Elizabeth Police Officers located the stolen vehicle in the area of W. Jersey St a short time later. Twenty-three rolls of Romex wire allegedly stolen from Home Depot, valued at approx. $3,500, were recovered from the vehicle and Martinho was taken into custody.

Martinho is charged with first degree carjacking and third degree shoplifting. He was committed to the County Jail pending a hearing in Superior Court.

The second suspect, described as a heavy set Hispanic man wearing a green jacket, remains at large.

The Second Suspect at large. Image Credit - Linden Police.

The Second Suspect at large. Image Credit – Linden Police.

“We are very proud of the quick response and investigative work that lead to this arrest,” said Police Chief David Hart. “We are also grateful for the partnership we share with the Elizabeth Police Department, who quickly located this individual and placed him under arrest.”

This incident remain under investigation, and anyone with information about this incident or any other criminal activity is urged to contact the Linden Police Department Detective Bureau at (908) 474-8537.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Banner Image: Yellow Taxi. Image Credit – Rodolfo Clix

Linden Police Department

The mission of the Linden Police Department is to reduce crime, improve the delivery of Police services and enhance the quality of life for Linden residents through cooperative partnerships with community members. For information about Crime Tips, click here. The Linden Police Department updates the public with the latest news regarding crime, missing persons, alerts, and public awareness information on a consistent basis in order to provide the following services to the public: Law Enforcement Maintaining Order Ensuring Quality of Life Protection Property Public Safety

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