Sparta Residents On Edge After Brazen Smash-In Burglaries

SPARTA, N.J. (CBS 2) — Some brazen crimes have left frayed nerves among residents in an upscale New Jersey community, with police advising residents to lock their doors.

Three smash-in burglaries in the area have left Sparta residents on edge.

“It’s scary, you know?” resident Howard Perrine said. “You feel violated.”

Two of the burglaries happened Thursday night – and all three involved million-dollar homes – ramping up concern in the normally quiet town.

“It’s very upsetting. You worry about your family, number one, and after that, what they can take,” resident Bob Einreinhofer said.

Local police say the crooks smash in the doors, pull alarm systems off the walls and cut phone lines. They say the sophisticated tactics show the burglars know what they’re doing.

In one of the cases Thursday night, a woman was at home, asleep in her bed. The thieves broke in, frightening her badly, before escaping into the night.

“I’ve never seen burglaries committed with such brazen acts of crashing through the door when the residents are home,” Sparta Township Police Lt. Joseph Schetting said.

Police say the smash-in jobs look like they were done by the same group of perpetrators – at least two men, they believe – and may be related to burglaries in other northern New Jersey towns, though they wouldn’t say which ones.

“We believe this is an organized burglary ring,” Lt. Schetting said.

In each case, police said, the thieves made off with cash and jewels.

“As we all know, gold is through the roof, so it’s a hot commodity right now,” Lt. Schetting said.

Police are urging residents to keep their alarms on, even when they are home, and to call if they see anything suspicious.

Lt. Schetting said in his 22 years on the force, he has never seen such brazen crimes in Sparta.

  • lisa

    it seems there are haters wherever i go on this god-forsaken internet – even someplace where you’d least expect it, like in the comments of a news article!
    i searched on the topic ‘burglaries in sparta nj’ tonite because my mothers house was robbed earlier today. she could have been home as her car was in the garage but she had gone out for a few hours with her sister.
    in addition to feeling violated and scared, she was also comforted by the officers who arrived within minutes of her call, searched the house + property with hands on their guns with proficiency + confidence, and secured her home until the detective arrived.
    whenever i hear the ‘sparta cops are underpaid + over-worked’ mantra, i want to scream cuz i dont remember the statistics one of my cops friends told me just last week before he + nine other younf officers were laid off by our town’s new (crook) mayor. something like, per capita our town should have 18 more cops than they already have. there is a lot more i could say but its more important i be with my family now. Ill just leave you to ponder the thought that perhaps crime is (was?) so low in sparta because we have such a great police force?

  • Former Sparta now Florida resident

    Of course the useless pigs of the Sparta police force have not seen crimes like this in 22 years, they collect an extremely over inflated salary for writing speeding tickets and crashing high school parties, not fighting real crime.

    • Town Resident

      Do you really have any clue what the Officers deal with on a daily basis???? Obviously you don’t, have fun sitting behind you desk while these men go to work day or night not know if they will return or not. Wait to see more layoffs and what will happen. I have family that lives in town and I’m proud of the police force that works to keep my family safe.

      • tara grew up in sparta

        “Do you really have any clue what the Officers deal with on a daily basis???? ”
        yeah, they usually deal with “writing speeding tickets and crashing high school parties” up until, like, last week… c’mon which sparta are you living in?

      • John - also grew up in Sparta

        If you think the Sparta police don’t do an important job serving the community then you probably have some more growing up to do. You are very fortunate if you’ve never known anyone killed or injured in a traffic accident, or been at a high school party that involved drugs. They also help with the EMTs/ambulance squad, process boring paperwork that residents bring them, and I’m sure a lot more.
        Yes, Sparta may not have the same types of crime scenes as CSI or Law and Order on TV, but who would want to raise their children in a town that was?

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