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Rutherford off-duty police lieutenant nabs one, detectives seek accomplice in taxi cash theft

Photo Credit: Courtesy RUTHERFORD PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An off-duty Rutherford police lieutenant last night nabbed one of two Newark men accused of snatching nearly $200 from a female cab driver Saturday night.

Police were also obtaining an arrest warrant after identifying the second suspect, who they expected would soon be in custody.

Lt. Marc Amatucci was off duty when he spotted 18-year-old Shaki Clemons walking on Orient Way and Summit Avenue around 4:45 p.m. yesterday and began following him, Capt. Patrick Feliciano told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.

Amatucci summoned units who stopped Clemons on northbound Route 17.

“He was uncooperative at first — he didn’t want to give us any information,” Feliciano said. “He might have known that we were looking for him, but he also had a warrant out of Secaucus.”

Police brought Clemons to headquarters and showed him surveillance video of him reaching through the cab’s partition window, grabbing $197 from the center console and bolting with his partner.

“He ended up admitting to it,” Feliciano said.

The Classic Taxi driver picked the two up at Clemons’ 1st Street home around 11 p.m. Saturday and took them to Rutherford after they spoke with someone on the phone and redirected her from Newark’s Penn Station, the captain said.

Five blocks from the station, the cabbie told police, she asked for the $30 fare.

That’s when Clemons grabbed the cash and the two fled, Feliciano said.

Clemons was being held on $40,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with theft, theft of services and conspiracy.

Feliciano, meanwhile, praised Amatucci.

“It’s a testament to an officer’s dedication when they’re that good on and off duty,” the captain said.


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