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On January 31, 2024 at 8:12 pm, the Maywood Police Department received a report of a motor vehicle burglary in progress in the rear parking lot of a Hammell Place apartment complex.


Sgt. Gregory Mulawka and P.O. Alana Luna were already in the area investigating another reported motor vehicle burglary where an Instacart driver witnessed two actors in his vehicle after dropping off a delivery on Maybrook Drive. The suspects fled after seeing the Instacart driver return to his vehicle.


Det/Sgt. William Phayre also responded to Hammell Place and the three officers converged on the suspects who were still inside the victim’s vehicle. Upon seeing the officers, both suspects fled on foot. Sgt. Mulawka and D/Sgt. Phayre apprehended Hahseem J. Willis, 18 of Hackensack, in the backyard of a Hammell Place residence with assistance from Rochelle Park Police Officers Ryan Burke and Brian Monico. P.O. Luna apprehended a 17-year-old female juvenile after a short foot pursuit.


Further investigation revealed that Mr. Willis and the juvenile entered the vehicle by breaking a front passenger window. They attempted to steal the vehicle by damaging the ignition cylinder with a screw driver that was left behind. Mr. Willis was also found to be in possession of two large knives. The juvenile was in possession of possible proceeds from unreported burglaries.


Mr. Willis was charged with Attempted Motor Vehicle Theft, Burglary to a Motor Vehicle, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of Burglary Tools, Resisting Arrest by Flight, Employing a Juvenile During the Commission of a Crime and Criminal Mischief. Mr. Willis was released pending his future court appearance.


The juvenile was released to a guardian and delinquency complaints are pending at this time.


These charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


The Maywood Police Department would like to thank the Rochelle Park and Paramus Police Departments for their assistance.

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