Updated 11 p.m. to include comments from Maplewood Chief of Police Robert Cimino.
It was certainly Friday the 13th for Jamar Clantan of Newark.
Last Friday, Maplewood Police Detectives served Clantan, 23, with an arrest warrant at his residence after a comprehensive investigation into a series of break-ins to motor vehicles occurring in the Township over the past several months.
Clantan was charged with a total of 25 counts of burglary and 25 counts of theft.
Police have reported that there have been a spurt of thefts from unlocked autos and home burglaries in the past few months in neighborhoods throughout town. The police department issued a asking residents to take precautions.
Police Chief meeeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at DeHart Community Center to address recent safety issues in town.
Patch reached Cimino via email and he provided this additional information regarding the arrest and crimes:
I’m very proud of the excellent investigative work that was done by our detectives in identifying and arresting this suspect. There is no doubt that Mr. Clanton’s crimes were responsible for a significant spike in our crime statistics this year. The investigation required many hours of surveillance, meticulous crime scene processing and unyielding follow-ups by Det. Lt. John Perna and Detectives Robert Smith, Peter Kuenzel, Raymond Rosania, and Nicholas Rella to make the case.
As to the belief that this suspect was acting alone, the investigation suggests that at least two people were committing these car break-ins in the same area on at least one of the nights the crimes occurred. Actually our investigations over the last several months have identified several diferent suspects for vehicle burglaries. So while Jamar Clanton has been charged with the most vehicle burglaries recently, we believe there are still additional suspects not associated with Mr. Clanton who are responsible for similar crimes. So it’s still important for the community to report suspicious activity immediately and to lock their homes and their cars.
As to day-time burglaries — we have recovered some stolen property related to some burglaries and the crimes are still under investigation.
This week's police blotter was provided courtesy of Lt. Dean Naddeo of the Maplewood Police Department:
April 9, 2012: Warrant Arrest. At approximately 3:22 am, Officers S. Gearren and S. Gyimoti observed two men acting suspiciously in the area of Garfield Pl. One of the men fled the scene and was not located, however, officers conducted a field interview of Sammy I. Terry, 27, of 53 Hudson Ave. Maplewood. While speaking with Terry, officers learned that he was actively wanted by Randolph Township. Terry was subsequently arrested and transported to Maplewood Police Headquarters for processing.
April 10, 2012: Warrant Arrest. Officer B. Weagley responded to the Maplewood Train Station on Dunnell Road on a suspicious person report. Officer Weagley located Jimmy Hall, 49, of 225 Sussex Ave. Newark, sleeping on a bench near Ricalton Square, who stated that he had fallen asleep while waiting for a train to East Orange. While speaking with Hall, officers learned that he was wanted by several jurisdictions, including Madison, Summit, Orange and Newark. Hall was placed in custody and transported to Police Headquarters for processing.
April 10, 2012: Theft from Vehicle. A Prospect Street resident reported that unknown suspect(s) had removed a Verizon LG flip phone valued at $100 from his vehicle, which had been left unlocked in his driveway between 11:00 pm on 4/5/12 and 7:30 am on 4/6/12.
April 13, 2012: Juvenile Arrests. Officers responded to a North Terrace residence on a report of a group of juveniles smoking marijuana in the garage. Officers arrived on scene and requested additional units due to several persons fleeing the scene on foot. Officers conducted a field investigation and subsequently detained seven juveniles on charges of possession of marijuana under 50 grams. In addition, one sixteen year old juvenile reportedly physically struck an officer with his elbow and will be charged as a juvenile with aggravated assault, possession of CDS, and resisting arrest.