RANDOLPH — You can't get far in a stolen vehicle or getaway car if the tires are blown out.

According to Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll, officials expect to stop a lot more "criminals in motion," thanks to a tool that's being rolled out for several police departments within the county.

Specialized training is underway on the use of "spike strips." With the pull of a cord, officers can stretch the accordion-like tool across a roadway in time to puncture the tires of a target vehicle. Then, the tool would be pulled out of the roadway to make room for pursuing police vehicles.

Check out the video below to see a spike strip in action.

Officials say they're aware of which roads criminals need to use in order to escape, so the tools can be ready for deployment in those areas.

Officials performed a live demonstration of the spike strips at the County College of Morris on Thursday.

Morris County
Morris County

Carroll said the tool can help deter auto theft and reduce the speeds of police chases following crimes such as kidnappings and burglaries.

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Spike strips are being distributed to roughly 50% of the county's police departments, Carroll said.

"We have a high degree of confidence that these are going to be very helpful," he said.

Police in Boonton have used the tool successfully already — a handful of times, according to Capt. Christopher Petonak. Speeds of police pursuits were lowered from 100 mph to 30 mph, and several arrests were made as a result of the tool's deployment.

In 2023, Morris County bucked the statewide trend and recorded a drop in vehicle thefts.  Across the state, according to the Attorney General's Office, more than 16,000 vehicles were stolen in 2023 — a 4% increase from 2022.

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