East Hanover – CrimeStoppers Crime of the Week

On Thursday August 3, 2017, at approximately 10:41 pm, members of the East Hanover Police Department and Fire personnel responded to the area of 11B Melanie Lane on a reported smoke condition. Officers arrived to find two passenger rail cars fully engulfed in flames.  The passenger rail cars are property of Morristown and Erie Railway and were being stored at this location.  After a thorough investigation, the fire is believed to have been intentionally set. The East Hanover Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office are seeking help from the public in identifying the people or person responsible for this arson.

We are asking anyone that may have information to please contact Morris County CrimeStoppers at: or 973-COP-CALL
Text 274637 using keyword “MORRISTIP”
YOU could receive a REWARD up to $1,000.00

Sheriff’s K-9 Apprehends Four Suspects in Roxbury

K-9 Sigmund, a 9 year old Belgian Malinois
Morris County Sheriff’s K-9 Sigmund is a 9 year old Belgian Malinois certified in Patrol and Explosive Detection.

The Roxbury Township Police Department and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office announce the arrest of four individuals for the attempted burglary of Ledgewood Powersports.

On August 3rd, 2017, at approximately 2:12 am, Roxbury Township Police were dispatched to Ledgewood Powersports located at 1368 Route 46 East, Ledgewood on an activated burglar alarm. Sgt. Catalano, Ptl. Ponomorev, Ptl. Barbera, Ptl. Strowbridge arrived on scene and observed 4 individuals running from the building.  A foot pursuit ensued and officers set up a perimeter to contain the subjects. Roxbury Township officers called for the assistance of Mt. Arlington and Netcong Police Departments. Officers on scene also immediately called for the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section to respond.

Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Det/Sgt. Tomasini arrived on scene and utilized K-9 Sigmund, a certified patrol dog to search for the subjects.  Following a trail of human scent, K-9 Sigmund was able to track over 50 yards in heavy brush and located and arrested two subjects.  K-9 Sigmund then continued to track human scent in the nearby area resulting in the apprehension of two more subjects.  K-9 Loco along with handler Det. Carbone also assisted at the scene.  Det. Kovacs responded from the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Section.

The following individuals were arrested:

Leon Foote, 18 year old male, from Philadelphia

  • Burglary
  • Criminal Attempt
  • Theft by Unlawful Taking
  • Criminal Mischief – Damage of Property
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Conspiracy

Kyle Prit, 20 year old male, from Philadelphia

  • Burglary
  • Criminal Attempt
  • Theft by Unlawful Taking
  • Criminal Mischief – Damage of Property
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Conspiracy

Robert Vidra, 26 year old male, from Philadelphia

  • Burglary
  • Criminal Attempt
  • Theft by Unlawful Taking
  • Criminal Mischief – Damage of Property
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Hindering
  • Conspiracy

Angel Torres, 21 year old male, from Philadelphia

  • Burglary
  • Criminal Attempt
  • Theft by Unlawful Taking
  • Criminal Mischief – Damage of Property
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Hindering
  • Conspiracy

All suspects were lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility, pending a court appearance.

“I am very proud of the partnership that we have at the Morris County Sheriff’s Office with the Roxbury Police Department. Our K-9 and CIS programs are second to none. This was a perfect example of the synergies in law enforcement which led to the quick apprehension of four suspected criminals intending to steal from our businesses. This isn’t tolerated here in Morris County,” said Sheriff James M. Gannon.

Chief Marc Palanchi commended his officers, Mt. Arlington and Netcong Officers and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit for their swift response, quick thinking and effective execution of this search and arrest. Chief Palanchi stated, “We are incredibly lucky to live in a County with such outstanding resources available to us.  The teamwork between our patrol officers, neighboring towns and the Morris County Sherriff’s Office is what led to the quick arrest of these individuals.”

Despite these pending charges every individual is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty.

Summer Safety Tips Offered

As the July 4th holiday weekend approaches, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office wants the public to have a safe Independence Day and has provided several safety tips for residents.

“School is out, the weather is warm, families go away on vacation and enjoy outdoor recreational activities. However, a vacation can sometimes turn into a bad experience.  Houses can be burglarized and accidents can occur while trying to have fun.  The Sheriff’s Office has specialized units that see these unfortunate situations and we would like to help prevent them,” said Sheriff James M. Gannon.

Burglary Prevention

In 2016, the Morris County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Section responded to 213 residential burglaries, 104 commercial burglaries and 175 motor vehicle burglaries. If you plan to travel, the Criminal Investigation Section suggests using the following tips:

  • Contact your local police department to inquire about property checks.
  • Be aware of what you post on social media, including photos and where you “check-in.” This alerts followers you are on vacation.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
  • Make your residence look occupied in your absence. Set indoor and outdoor lights on timers, use motion sensors and have your mail and newspapers collected.
  • Do not have any home improvements done on your house while you are away.
  • Invest in a camera system or alarm company for home surveillance. There are reasonably priced systems available.
  • If vehicles will be in the driveway, make sure they are locked and the garage door opener is not in the vehicle.
  • Lock valuable and important items in a safe place only you would know.
  • Consider having a friend or family member check on the house.

Fireworks Safety

Governor Chris Christie recently signed a bill legalizing “non explosive, non aerial” fireworks such as sparklers, party poppers and smoke devices in New Jersey. These now legal items can be possessed or sold to persons 16 years of age or older.  Explosive fireworks are still illegal.

Morris County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad Commander, Det/Corporal Doug Meyer said, “Any fireworks are dangerous and should not be handled recklessly. Although non explosive items are legal, there is still a harmful factor in using them.”

  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.
  • Wear safety glasses when using fireworks.
  • Use the legal fireworks in a clear outdoor area, away from people, buildings and bushes.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Be careful with sparklers! They burn at approximately 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt glass. They can ignite clothing and burn hands and feet. A fun alternative is to use glow sticks instead.
  • Be prepared for accidents:
  • Have a bucket of water and/or fire extinguisher accessible.
  • If injury occurs, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. Do not touch or rub an eye injury as this may cause more damage.
  • Dispose spent fireworks by wetting them and placing in a metal trash can away from a building until the next day.

**Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals!**

  • Do not pick up pieces of fireworks after an event.
  • Do not bring pets to a fireworks display to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag in case it runs away.

Safe Boating Tips

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit works in conjunction with the New Jersey State Police patrolling the waters of Lake Hopatcong from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. Boating accidents can be prevented by following these safety rules:

  • The operator must have an operator license, valid registration and boating safety certificate in possession.
  • Have personal flotation devices (PFD) available for all passengers on board. Children 12 and under must be wearing PFDs while the vessel is moving.
  • A throwable seat cushion or ring buoy must be available.
  • The vessel must be equipped with an adequate horn or whistle and approved fire extinguisher.
  • Navigation lights must be on between sunset and sunrise.
  • Be aware of your swimming capability.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Check local weather conditions before departure.
  • Use common sense – operate at a safe speed, stay alert and be respectful of navigational aids and other boaters.