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Middle Township PD
Tuesday October 6th, 2020 :: 01:47 p.m. EDT


Rio Grande Woman Attempts to Elude Police in Stolen Box Truck, Crashes into Vehicle

On October 6th, 2020 at approximately 8:42 AM, Patrolman George Eskander observed a box truck with West Side Meats on the side travelling north on Route 9 with smoke coming from the vehicle.  Several vehicles behind the box truck also were beeping their horns and pointing to the vehicle as it went by.  While following the vehicle, Patrolman Eskander observed the vehicle smoking and the vehicle ran the red light at Route 9 and Indian Trail.  Patrolman Eskander then activated his emergency lights but the vehicle failed to yield.  Ptl. Eskander and other officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the vehicle continued up Route 9, on to Stone Harbor Blvd and then turned north onto the Garden State Parkway.  The vehicle continued on the Parkway until exit 25 where it ran the light at the end of the exit ramp and then headed toward Route 9 on Roosevelt Blvd in Marmora.  The vehicle ran the light at the intersection of Route 9 and struck a van belonging to Atlantic City Electric causing it to overturn.  At that time the driver of the box truck, Melissa Lapworth, age 28 of Rio Grande, was placed under arrest for eluding and placed in the custody of the New Jersey State Police.  Lapworth was also found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  The driver of the van was removed from the vehicle and reported no injuries at the time however was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center as a precaution.  Further investigation revealed that the box truck had been stolen from Westside Wholesale Distributors on Railroad Avenue in Rio Grande.  This case is still currently being investigated and charges are pending from the Middle Township Police Department and the New Jersey State Police.  Also assisting with this incident was the Cape May County Sheriff’s Department.

Middle Township PD
31 Mechanic St
Cape May County, NJ 08210

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 609-465-8700

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