By Jaimie Julia Winters

Two 17-year-old males from Montclair and East Orange were arrested Friday, Aug. 10, after crashing a stolen vehicle that was allegedly connected to a shooting earlier in the day, according to the sheriff’s office.

Essex County Sheriff officers came upon the vehicle, a 2015 Volkswagen Passat sedan, reported stolen from Summit, on Aug. 9, at North 7th Street and Sussex Avenue. The stolen car was wanted by Newark police in connection with a shooting that occurred at Avon Avenue and South 12th Street, said Sheriff Armando Fontoura.

“When our officer activated his overhead lights and siren in an attempt to execute a motor vehicle stop, the Passat fled the scene in an erratic and reckless manner, hitting an estimated speed in excess of 65 mph, and ignoring traffic lights and stop signs,” said Fontoura.

A Newark police helicopter, above the city at the time, pursued the vehicle with sheriff’s and Newark police officers converging in on the stolen vehicle from the ground.

“The Passat blew a tire and crashed into a parked truck at Brenner and Kent streets, some two miles from our original contact with the vehicle,” Fontoura said. “The driver from East Orange and the front passenger from Montclair bailed from the stolen car and were pursued on foot by sheriff’s officers and Newark police.”

After a brief chase, both suspects were taken into custody without further incident. The passenger was in possession of gloves and a black face mask.

“Along the pursuit route our officers also recovered a 9mm Masterpiece Arms machine pistol, with a high capacity magazine that was fully loaded with 30 rounds of illegal hollow point bullets,” the sheriff said.

Police are still looking for a third person ran who from the scene.

The Montclair juvenile was charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a large capacity magazine, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest. He was taken to the Essex County Youth Detention Center, Fontoura said.

The East Orange juvenile was charged with receiving stolen property and resisting arrest. He was released to his mother.

Both suspects await an appearance in family court on Friday’s charges, Fontoura said.

The Passat was impounded, pending a K-9 search for weapons and narcotics and for fingerprint examination, Fontoura said.