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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.

stan kabrt April 29, 2012 at 06:49 PM
They should get a mandatory 3 year mandatory STUPIDITY CHARGE on top of everything else. Broad dalylight, witnesses, cameras, and your buddy left in the store? You then drive to Paterson with a smashed windshield and no cop will notice? Hopatcong is not a "catch and release", "go forth and sin no more" town. Especially if you almost kill someone. We are not Camden, Newark, or our State Capitol. Commit a crime, nearly kill someone here, probation is not an option. You are both stupid, and richly desrving your eventual sentence. STUPID.
Jennifer Reid April 29, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Thank you Tammy for stating the obvious! In every town there are the local "idiots" there's a reason theirs a term called "Village Idiot"! Check any other patch page Ricky Bobby...you'll see the same locals from those towns being arrested over and over. It's not just Hopatcong that has idiots.
Jennifer Reid April 29, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Concerned Mom...I have only one issue with your comments, these people are not retarded. Retarded or the mentally handicapped have no choice on how they are born. These two individuals are Idiots...plain and simple...they had a choice and chose to be idiots, they didn't choose to be retarded.
Jamie Martinez April 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM
YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE COMMENTS ON SUBJECTS YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT WHEN YOU GROW UP AND START USING YOUR REAL NAME THEN WE CAN HAVE AN ADULT CONVERSATION ON THE SUBJECT
Observer April 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM
An old-timer, familiar with local history, explained the reason Hopatcong is, and forever will be, cursed. He said the area was populated by the Lenni Lenape tribe, no surprise there. He went on to explain that the site of the Hopatcong dump was a Lenni Lenape burial ground and because of the desecration, the town will always be damned. I can’t say that I believe his explanation but there’s got to be a reason for the constant black cloud, maybe it’s the water!
Idiotslayer219 April 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM
To the idiots on here that always blame the parents. It is not always their fault. Do you think they said go do drugs to them. Are you really that stupid? Teenagers are stupid and do stupid things and some end up as addicts or alcoholics and not because of their parents. You can tell your kids the dangers of drugs and it still doesn't stop them from trying them. These two had the DARE program in school. They have watched friends use drugs and die, they have been in jail, they know what probation is and rehab. It is the drugs get it the drugs. Some of you need to shut-up because you never know when drug addiction will slap you in the face. Don't say not my kid, because it may be a relative, friend, neighbor or just someone you know who comes from a nice family. Yes there are many who come from nice families, no divorce, no drugs, no alcohol and no abuse. Walk in their shoes and then say something about the parents. How many times have you told your child not to do something and they did it anyway? Get off that high f'ing horse you know nothing about drug addiction. These two are adults stop blaming parents for everything their children do, it happens to the best parents in the world.
Alan McCabe April 30, 2012 at 04:11 AM
im Alan McCabe his cousin and unless u have dealt with an alchi or drug addict jus stfu cause u dont kno what ur talkin bout... keep feedin ur kids McDonalds you prize parents and citizens of hopatcong, Danny is the Man and beat all odds, Stevie didnt... Still Love him
Infact April 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Alan, I know Danny very well and yes, he's a great kid and has done well with his battle.
amazed78 April 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I hear ya...hopatcong wasnt always filled with heroin addicts. boulevard pub, steins parties at houses on lakeside. wont mention whose houses. they were the good ole days bri.
amazed78 April 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I wouldnt be to sure of that...i know a couple people who have lots of priors and keep getting out. i know someone who served 3 years for a crime got out got the same exact charge a year and a half later if that long and got probation. I think they should of got 6 years. double the time for second offense. but NO. Not sure why but the law works in stupid ways.
Susan April 30, 2012 at 04:27 PM
THANK YOU @ Idiotslayer219 for your comment. I couldn't have said it better. YES, it can happen to anyone of us. No parent can monitor their child's every move every second of every day. We do the best that we can with what we have and hope they make the right decisions. I consider myself to be a good parent and my child fell victim to drugs. Was that MY fault? Of course not. Do I blame myself? No. But I am actively involved in his recovery and will support him to best of my ability. Addiction is a disease and it does NOT discriminate. Thank you again for your post!
Hopatcong Resident April 30, 2012 at 09:59 PM
@idiotslayer219 and others - it is not about a parent just "telling" their kids not to do drugs. Being a parent is far, far more than that...and doing it right, is what raises good kids. And to do it right, is the hardest job you'll ever have! Yes, it is how you are brought up and keeping on top of your kids 24/7. That is called being a parent, not a friend.
Idiotslayer219 April 30, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Really, Hopatcong Resisent. As usual you miss the point and you will never get it. Many raise good kids and then they begin to follow the crowd, or their at a friend's house, or they want to be like the cool kids, the in crowd. They want to go to the parties and so on. It happens and I can name plenty of drug addicts who came from upstanding families in town. Like I said, don't blame the parents because they suffer the most without the constant criticism from jerks like you that think it can never happen to you. Unless your children are fully grown and out on their own I suggest you keep you mouth shut because if they are still at home and in school the chance of drug addiction striking you home is far greater. Because your take on drug addiction is distorted so is your thinking as to how it starts. Who said friend? As a parent I did my job right. Stop playing all high and mighty while patting yourself on the back. One never knows what the future holds. Tell me, did you follow your kids around 24/7 or did you teach them right from wrong in hopes they would remember at times when the pressure was on. Or are you trying to tell the Patch community that your kids never did anything wrong? Get a better a lie for you next comment.
Hopatcong Resident April 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I get high with my kids.
Susan May 01, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Shocker. Now your idiotic rant makes total sense. If you had half a brain you would have stood your ground with your "delusional" and completely off base interpretation of the statements previously made rather than post a comment clearly made by a complete and utter moron.
laurie May 01, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Heroin can impact any life no matter where you live or how you are raised, Instead of bashing these people and their families, you should be praying for them. Pray for yourselves for being so judgemental and dont ever say "not in my family".."not my children".no-one is safe from addiction.
TakingAStand May 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM
In total agreement Laurie! I do pray everyday for all of them and their families. I also pray for this insanity to stop but I know they must stop themselves. The comments about parents make me laugh at times, I pray it never happens to them. I do hope the two arrested see prison time for their actions and as for the third that gave them up who was headed down there as well...what is it going to take to make you stop? And please tell your brother not to create another log-in! To those who comment and understand that not all parents are to blame, Thanks :) Glad the young man is okay.
telldatruthufool May 01, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Where is the like button? Good job TakeAStand!
amazed78 May 01, 2012 at 03:19 PM
whether someone can spell or not has nothing to do with how bright they are. my best friend is dyslexic. She is very succesful. :) just saying
amazed78 May 01, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Keeping on top of your kids 24/7??? there are kids bringing drugs to school sorry but i work all day and cant walk my kids threw school to make sure their not involved with these kids. Not to mention I work till 530 pm and daycare stops taking kids at what age 11-12. Now what??
Hopatcong Resident May 01, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Comment not made by the same "Hopatcong Resident." Someone else is using the same name. Never smoked cigarettes in my life, certainly didn't do drugs of any type, and could count the times I've been drunk in my life, even thru my college years. And I am proud to say these things, not ashamed.
JusticeAmore May 02, 2012 at 07:15 PM
telldatruthufool- First off that is a rediculous name, you sound like an iddiot! Second off, how bout you know the truth before you start telling some BS. Everyone has a chance, it's aout the choices you make. Once you become an addict you have chosen to go down a path of self destruction. As for your "lesson" you are the one doing the judging! Oh and you may wanna check your spelling before you hit send.
JusticeAmore May 02, 2012 at 07:24 PM
That's a real ignorant comment! You are free to believe what you want, I am born and raised in Hopatcong and have done very well for myself. This town has million dolar houses, many business owners, and now add a NFL player to mix. Hope your a big fan of the Giants so you can go ahead and cheer for your favorite town :)
Peace Maker May 02, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I happen to know Steve's babies mama. And this news article is 100% true. Other then the part where they actually planned this all out. It wasn't on a whim! The only part they didn't plan was hitting the othe gas station attendant. Drug addicts in general don't think about anything other then not being "dope sick" when your body starts to fail you you go into self preservation mode. They have no control over it. Not an excuse by any means but hopefully it will help some of u understand a little better.
dmt9972 May 03, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I have to agree. I am a mother of two adult children who are complete opposites. My husband and I have been married for 22 yrs and do not do drugs or are alcoholics, in fact we are both community involved people. Unfortunately one of our children has made poor life decisions which has landed them in and out of jail as an adult and juvenille detention as a minor. You can tell your children right from wrong until you are blue in the face, but unfortunately they are their own person with their own mind and make their own decisions whether they are for the good or bad. Unfortunately drugs influence the poor decisions that these people make in their lives and until they hit rock bottom (which they may never do) this is the route that their lives are going to go. I have accepted that my child needs to be accountable for the decisions made in his or her life and that their is nothing that I can do to change these decisions. I have tried to reinforce what good behavior and good decisions are in my children but ultimately their decisions create their paths. Like I said, I have two children who are completely different that were raised in the same household with the same parents, and I truly believe its the persons makeup as to how they lead their life. Sometimes a poor upbringing & environment may lead to the negative paths they choose, but it is not always the case. I know I am not alone in this situation, and it hurts for parents that have truly tried to be a good parent & example.
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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