NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Law enforcement officials say 42 people have been charged in a rash of armed carjackings that had terrorized Newark and Essex County around the turn of the year.

Leaders from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies made the announcement Monday after federal authorities teamed up with local police to attack the carjacking problem, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports on who the alleged carjackers targeted

State Attorney General Paula Dow told reporters including 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg that the suspects are believed to be behind more than one hundred carjackings committed “just for the sport of joyriding.”

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg with more on what charges the alleged perpetrators will face

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said nine of the defendants will now face more serious charges, including those whose crimes were the most violent and the suspects who had the worst criminal records.

“Our goal is simple — safer streets, safer communities and safer cities,” Fishman said.

The victims included a pastor, parents dropping off their children at day care in addition to a school principal and a private city snow plow.

Dow’s message to the alleged perpetrators was straight forward: “Your little joyride, causing such havoc, will send you to prison for a very, very long time and the game will be over.”

Officials said the joint cooperation was a model of law enforcement they intended to replicate in future instances.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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