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Cops: Quick Chek Robbers Had Heroin Bags, Needle

The following arrest information was supplied by the Hopatcong police department. It does not indicate a conviction.

Forty empty bags used to contain heroin and a hypodermic needle were found in the car of the men after robbing another gas attendant in Hopatcong Thursday morning, said.

Brian Howell of Hopatcong and Steven McCabe of Budd Lake were arrested in Paterson at about 2:30 p.m. that day when Paterson police spotted them driving the car, which had a cracked windshield, police said.

The injured gas station attendant, Mike Smith of Hopatcong, was taken to St. Clare's Hospital in Dover with head injuries and later released, police said.

Howell, 24, and McCabe, 29, each were charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, auto assault and other crimes. The pair was taken to Sussex County Jail en lieu of $75,000 bail.

Howell, McCabe and a third passenger drove into the Quick Chek parking lot around 10:30 a.m., police said. Police said the third passenger, who went inside the store, was not part of the robbery.

McCabe then got out of the car, approached a gas station attendant from behind and grabbed $289 from his hands, police said. When McCabe got back into the car, Howell drove around the rear of Quick Chek at a high speed, police said.

Then the attendant yelled for help and Smith ran to get a description of the vehicle, police said. But as Smith was running, Howell drove between the gas pump islands and crashed into him, sending Smith onto the hood of the car, into the windshield and onto the pavement, police said.

A witness, whose identity police declined to release, told investigators that Howell and McCabe were heading toward Paterson, police said.

Howell and McCabe later gave Hopatcong police Detective Ryan Tracey consent to search the vehicle, police said.

McCabe was charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree theft and second-degree aggravated assault by striking a gas attendant with his vehicle while fleeing the scene of a crime. Howell was charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, fourth-degree auto assault, third-degree leaving the scene of an accident with an injury, reckless driving, failure to report an accident, driving with a suspended license and driving with a cracked windshield.

For question on this report, email brendan@patch.com.

Dina Hansen May 04, 2012 at 01:50 PM
All I can say is that it is a shame. Its a shame that people can make comments on situations that they have never had to deal with. Remember, you should never throw stones in glass houses. You never know where your life may lead you in the future or the future of a family member. It is a shame that they are adults now and what ever hardship they had to deal with in life that they were not strong enough to rise above. Everyone has the opportunity to choose from right from wrong and make changes in your life no matter how you were raised. They are clearly not strong enough to see the light and need more help! Hopefully this will be the eye opener they need. And yes, it is always the families that are left behind that have to deal with the "crap and comments" they got into. I will be one family member that will be praying for them to see the light in the end!
You kidding me May 05, 2012 at 10:43 PM
This is sad to me I watched both of them grow up and there is no one to blame but them not there parents not there friends no one there grown ass men they no right and wrong . here's a tip for those stop bailing them out and stop making excuses they had hard life's there parents were not there bull shit because I no plenty of people battling addition who came from a perfect up brining its just sad but it's true they need to stay in jail and get clean .
queeny May 08, 2012 at 09:28 PM
oh danny beat all odds?? lol, right ,thats like saying these guys will be rehabilitated
KA706 May 10, 2012 at 01:27 AM
This "Hopatcong resident" writing about doing drugs is actually an imposter. The other "Hopatcong Resident" is correct. If you click on the two "Hopatcong Resident" screen names, you are led to two different accounts on Patch... You definitely need a better hobby in your life than posing as someone else on a Patch website, impostor Hopatcong resident.
justis February 24, 2013 at 05:29 AM
jail isnt going to keep u clean... at the end of the day its that persons cjoice to use or not, drugs are all around in and out of jail addiction is a disease and we dont just wake up and say hummmm, im going to be a addict, i think imgoing to hit someone with a car just cuz i want to.. they have to want it and be ready for it. addicts dont just turn into addicts over night, regardless its sad and thoes guys neither one of them are scumbags.. they just made wrong choices in the wrong state of mind.

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