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West Caldwell Police Make Arrest in Sunday's Howland Circle Burglary Case

Carolyne Volpe Curley

Thursday, December 5, 2013 • 7:02pm

Updated 12:10 p.m. Friday

WEST CALDWELL, NJ - West Caldwell Police have made an arrest regarding Sunday's burglary at Howland CircleChief of Police Michael J. Bramhall announced on Thursday. After an investigation by detectives, Darren Clarke, 19, from Bloomfield was charged Tuesday for the incident. According to Bramhall, there have not been any previous West Caldwell break-ins this past autumn or summer. 

Howland Circle, West Caldwell   Credit: Google Maps

Sunday Burglary
According to the chief, on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4:20 p.m. West Caldwell's Officer Jamie Norrell responded to the Howland Circle residence after the homeowners reported to police that they believed jewelry and electronic items had been stolen from their home while they were away for the weekend. Norrell noted that a basement window in the back of the house had been broken into and was the likely point of entry for the thief.  

Previously Stolen Vehicle
It was later determined by Detective Sergeant Shaun O’Dowd and Detective Paul Mazzeo that an alert resident had reported a suspicious vehicle in the area earlier that afternoon. The detectives further ascertained that the vehicle, Toyota RAV 4had been reported stolen from Nutley the previous day, Saturday, Nov. 30

Arrest, Charges and Bail
After closing the investigation on Tuesday, O'Dowd and Mazzeo charged Darren Clarke, who was already in custody at the Essex County jail for the stolen car, with the following crimes: 
  • Burglary    
    If found guilty of the third degree crime, the suspect could face between three to five years in jail

  • Theft  
    The penalties for this crime depend on the value of the stolen items

  • Receiving Stolen Property   
    The suspect was in possession of the stolen vehicle
  • Criminal Mischief

Clarke's bail was set at $50,000 by the Honorable Bridget Stecher of the West Caldwell Municipal Court and the suspect remains held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.

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