Stafford police have charged four Brooklyn residents with attempting to purchase items in Walmart and Target stores with counterfeit money, and then leading police on a chase on Route 72.
Police responded to a call at the Walmart on Rt. 7 on Thursday on a report of two men trying to buy merchandise with suspected counterfeit bills.
When Patrolman Neil McKenna arrived, he saw a car described by Walmart loss prevention officers fleeing the scene with the two men and two other occupants, police said.
Mckenna stopped the 2013 Nissan Altima before the driver could leave the store parking lot. But the driver, later identified as Michael Clennon, 30, sped through the parking lot, went through the Pizza Hut parking lot, over a curb and then onto Martin Truex Jr. Boulevard, police said.
Clennon drove onto East Road, then entered Route 72 East, where McKenna could not see the car in heavy traffic. Patrolman John Morrin located the car, and pursued it to the Stafford Square jughandle. Clennon went through the red light and entered Route 72 West, where he proceeded at a high rate of speed and entered the Garden State Parkway North ramp.
Police continued to pursue the vehicle onto the parkway, where the damaged vehicle left the roadway and eventually came to a stop at mile post 64.5. The four occupants surrendered and were all paced under arrest at the scene. A
Arrested were: Michael Clennon, 30, Charles Shaka, 25, Ryan Telesford, 31 and Belinda Boutin, 18, all of Brooklyn. Counterfeit money was recovered at the scene, police said.
All four were charged with possession of counterfeit marks and conspiracy. Clennon was also charged with issued numerous motor vehicle summonses for attempts to elude police, police said.
All four were taken to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River. Clennon's bail was set at $100,000; Shaka's at $50,000; Boutin's at $50,000 and Telesford's at $25,000.Detectives continued to investigate throughout the evening where they were able to collect $1,800 in counterfeit currency from Walmart and $4,100. from Target, police said.
Stafford police were assisted by members of the U.S. Secret Service.