Over the past year, Morris County has seen a rise in the number of car burglaries and stolen vehicles. Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon is asking for the public’s help in reducing the statistics in 2018.

Car burglars often go to residential neighborhoods and walk up and down the street checking car door handles to see if they are open. Once an unlocked vehicle is located, they enter the vehicle to look for valuable items to steal. “Some find key fobs inside which allow them to start the vehicle and drive away with it. In addition, car thieves are using a phone app to locate vehicles with key fobs inside, making the theft of your car a quick and easy process,” said Sheriff Gannon.

In 2017, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section responded to local towns in Morris County to process one hundred sixty-eight (168) motor vehicle burglaries for evidence and latent prints. Only forty-one (24%) of those vehicles were reported to have been locked.

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section also responded to and processed eighty-nine (89) motor vehicles that were stolen from within the county in 2017. Of those vehicles, only 15 (17%) were reported to have been locked or secured in a structure before being stolen. The remaining seventy-four (74) vehicles were parked and left unlocked with keys or key fobs inside.

Sheriff Gannon said, “Car burglaries and stolen vehicles can lead to additional crimes, such as home burglaries and identity theft if keys, garage door openers, purses and wallets are left in vehicles. Help protect yourself and your family and let’s work together to make Morris County a safer place.”

By following these tips you can take an active role in preventing crime in Morris County:

  • Lock your vehicle and remove the key fob.
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Protect your identity and accounts by removing purses, wallets or checkbooks from your vehicle.
  • Contact your local Police Department to report any suspicious individuals or vehicles in your neighborhood.

Report tips and remain anonymous by contacting The Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers at:

973-COP-CALL or from your mobile device.



On Thursday, February 1, Detective Corporal Dave Kenny and Corporal Brian Ahern of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Budd Lake woman in a hotel room charging her with credit card theft and theft under $200 at the Morris County Courthouse Complex. She was additionally charged with possession of a hypodermic needle upon arrest.

On January 29, Ashley Taylor, 27, of Budd Lake, was at the Morris County Courthouse for a court date on a previous charge. Taylor allegedly took a wallet out of an attorney’s hand bag while sitting outside of a courtroom and proceeded to exit the courthouse. Using video surveillance, the officers were able to track the suspect to her vehicle and ultimately, her location.

Sheriff James M. Gannon said, “The Morris County Sheriff’s Office continues to uphold the safety and the security in the Morris County Courthouse. We have a very sophisticated video surveillance system to assist our officers in protecting employees and members of the public in the complex. I am proud of the officers’ work resulting in a successful outcome to the investigation.”

Taylor was charged on a complaint warrant and lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility. Detective Sergeant Nicole Leo and Detective Tim Palazzolo from the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Section and the Mount Olive Police Department also assisted in the investigation.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless, or until, they are proven guilty in court.