Two New York men were charged Wednesday in a series of iPhone thefts from retailers in Morris and Middlesex counties, including a store in Morris Plains.
Willie Winfield, 33, and Aaron Richard, 22, both of Staten Island, were charged Wednesday afternoon for stealing iPhones from a South Brunswick Verizon store. Police later linked the two suspects to iPhone thefts at a Route 10 Verizon store that occurred on Tuesday.
At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the two suspects allegedly walked into the Verizon store in the South Brunswick Square Mall. 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 10 minutes later, North Brunswick Police stopped the suspect vehicle. A subsequent investigation recovered five iPhones in the vehicle, one of which was connected to the Morris Plains 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 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.