An Essex County man found in a stolen Jeep last week now is being sought in connection with the use of stolen credit cards.

Elijah Harden, 31, of East Orange, was previously charged with receiving stolen property and resisting arrest and released on his own recognizance, pending a court appearance.

The Jeep was reported stolen from someone’s driveway in Branchburg on March 20, according to Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Thomas Chirichella.

Branchburg officers reached out to Newark police after determining that the stolen vehicle had been spotted in a specific area of the city.

It was seen the next day being driven by Harden on Avon Avenue, who lost control and hit a parked car, Chirichella said, and then tried to run away before his arrest.

At a later time, Branchburg police searched the Jeep and recovered six credit cards belonging to a resident of the North Branch area and one credit card belonging to a Bridgewater resident.

At least one of those cards had been used to make an unauthorized purchase, police said.

Harden has since been charged in Branchburg with third-degree fraudulent use of a credit card and fourth-degree counts of fraudulent possession of a credit card and unauthorized use of a credit card.

He's now considered a wanted suspect and had not yet been arrested, again, as of Wednesday.

Law enforcement officials have stressed the urgency of locking vehicles and removing keys and key fobs when not being driven — even when parked in a driveway — amid a recent uptick in car thefts.

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