An Essex County resident has been arrested in connection with an incident in which a Hillside man was allegedly carjacked, kidnapped, and robbed at gunpoint earlier this week, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan and Hillside Police Department Capt. Lashonda Burgess jointly announced Friday.
JaVohn Berrouet of Irvington, 24, is charged with first-degree carjacking, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, two first-degree weapons offenses, and three second-degree weapons offenses.
The initial carjacking took place at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6 on Avy Street in Hillside, according to the preliminary investigation. Brandishing handguns, the two suspects then allegedly transported the victim to local banks in the area, where they ordered him to withdraw sums of cash. The victim was located in Irvington Thursday morning, having sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
An investigation by the Hillside Police Department resulted in Berrouet being identified as a suspect in the case, and Township investigators executing a search warrant at his home with the assistance of the New Jersey State Police Thursday night arrested him without incident and recovered a ski mask and a .45-caliber handgun at the scene. He was subsequently lodged in Union County Jail pending a first appearance and a detention hearing.
This case remains under active investigation, and anyone with information is urged to contact Detectives Natalie Ogonowski, Sean Young or Cosimo Tripoli at 973-926-5800, Extensions 204, 205, or 207, respectively.
The Union County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an additional arrest and indictment in this case; tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-TIPS (8477) or online at www.uctip.org.
Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison, or 15 to 30 years on a kidnapping conviction.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.