Byram Resident Accused of Shoplifting at Local Walmart, Eluding Police in Pursuit Across Mansfield, Hackettstown, and Byram

By Travis Tormey posted in Theft Offenses on Thursday, May 30, 2013

On May 22, Mansfield police responded to a report of a shoplifter at Walmart. When officers arrived on the scene, the suspect, 39-year-old Byram resident Douglas Umstead, had already left the area in his vehicle, a 2010 Chevy Impala.

Officers quickly distributed a description of the vehicle to surrounding police departments. Sometime later, Hackettstown Police stopped the vehicle in Hackettstown. Police obtained Mr. Umstead’s identification, but before they could make an arrest, he sped off.

Officers pursued the vehicle before breaking off pursuit and relaying the vehicle information to Byram Township Police. Later, during the pursuit, Mr. Umstead struck a Byram Police vehicle. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Umstead was taken into custody.

Mr. Umstead was charged with shoplifting and trespassing in Mansfield. Additionally, a warrant was forwarded to Byram Police so that the Bryam prosecutor could bring additional charges against Mr. Umstead. These charges are likely to include eluding a police officer.

In New Jersey, eluding a police officer is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2. Depending on the circumstances, it can be either a second degree felony or a third degree felony. If the Byram prosecutor determines that Mr. Umstead’s attempt to elude created a risk of death or injury to any person, it will likely be a second degree charge. This could result in Mr. Umstead being sentenced to between five (5) and ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison.

Because Mr. Umstead is likely to face charges in different municipalities, his lawyer will probably want to file a motion to have all of the charges consolidated in one town rather than having them litigated in different towns.

Mr. Umstead’s bail was set at $1,500.00 in Mansfield.


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