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DNA Match Leads To Arrest In Year-Old Saddle Brook Stolen Car Case

Forensic scientist analyzes DNA at NJ State Police lab.
Forensic scientist analyzes DNA at NJ State Police lab. Photo Credit: NJSP

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. -- A DNA match from a stolen car in Saddle Brook nearly a year ago led to charges against a Hudson County man who was already in jail, authorities said.

Angel Martinez, 33, of Kearny had just shoplifted $500 worth of items from the Harbor Freight Tool Store when he tried to hop into a 2011 Nissan Pathfinder with a temporary registration tag that was parked outside the night of Nov. 19, 2014, Police Chief Robert Kugler told Daily Voice.

As the manager approached, Martinez ran off, he said.

A computer check showed Officer John Tritto and Detective Lt. Tom Johnson that the vehicle had been stolen out of Hackensack, the chief said.

After getting the owner's permission, police had the Bergen County Sheriff's Criminal Identification Bureau collect and secure everything inside -- including a coffee cup and a shopping bag, he said.

New Jersey State Police recently notified the sheriff's office that DNA found in the sweep matched Martinez's.

Johnson signed a warrant against Martinez -- who was being held in the Hudson County Jail -- for possessio of stolen property. A judge set $10,000 bail should he be released from Hudson County.

"The abiity to secure and analyze DNA evidence is a great science and

one that helps law enforcement solve crimes," Kugler said. "That, in turn, sends those

responsible for the crime either to jail, or, as in this case, to remain there."

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