Coordinated Efforts Of Town of Newton and Sparta Township Police Department Help Catch Car Thief
Friday, July 6, 2012 • 11:25pm
NEWTON, NJ – A car theft in the Town of Newton on Tuesday triggered a domino effect of synchronized law enforcement efforts, which in turn resulted in the arrest of the car thief, and the return of the vehicle to its rightful owner.
The Newton Police Department received a call at 9:24am of a 2011 Buick Regal having been stolen from the U-Save Mini Mart Convenience Store on Sparta Avenue.
The vehicle, which still had the keys inside, was left unattended for five minutes while the victim was in the store.
Witnesses saw the vehicle being driven away, heading East on Sparta Avenue, and video surveillance showed the perpetrator enter the vehicle, then drive away.
“It was certainly a great example of police work,” said Newton Police Chief Michael Richards. “From first responding officers promptly identifying witnesses, who provided a direction of travel and getting information about the vehicle to dispatch, to dispatchers quickly broadcasting information to other agencies.”
The vehicle description was broadcast on the State Police Emergency Network (SPEN) by Newton Dispatcher, which reaches neighboring police departments.
The suspect, Daniel M. Cirigliano, 33, of Egg Harbor, NJ, drove the vehicle into Sparta.
Sparta Police Sergeant Neil Spidaletto was on routine patrol on the southbound shoulder of Route 15 South, when he spotted the suspect. Spidaletto knew of the theft, verified it was the stolen vehicle by check of the license plate, and attempted to pull the vehicle over.
Cirigliano slowed the vehicle onto the shoulder, and then accelerated again onto Route 15, weaving in and out of traffic, and clocking speeds at more than 130 miles per hour.
Spidaletto continued on Route 15, although he terminated the pursuit.
Dispatchers contacted OnStar, and the organization had the ability to disable to the vehicle.
Cirigliano abandoned the vehicle at Dover Dodge on Route 15 in Rockaway Township, NJ, and was spotted walking on the highway by a NJ State Division of Transportation (DOT) employee. He was apprehended after being found hiding in a pickup truck bed on the DOT yard, and taken into custody by police.
Rockaway Township Police Department, the Wharton Borough Police Department, and the K-9 Unit form the Morris County Sheriff’s Office assisted Sparta and Newton Police Departments with the chase.
“This guy was as good as done the second Newton PD informed the Calvary down the line about the situation,” said Sergeant John-Paul Beebe of the Sparta Police Department. “The vehicle was recovered in less than 20 minutes, and the suspect was in custody. And that is only because Sussex and Morris County Law Enforcement agencies work very closely with each other. We always have each others’ backs.”
Sparta Police charged Cirigliano with the second-degree crime of eluding a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, and motor vehicle summonses before being turned over to the Newton Police Department.
Newton Police Department charged him with burglary, and theft of a movable property.
Honorable Craig U. Dana set bail for $35,000 with no 10 percent option for the Newton charges, and Honorable C.W. Bowkley set bail at $45,000 with no 10 percent option for the charges in Sparta.
Cirigliano is currently lodged in the Sussex County Jail.
Cirigliano shows a previous arrest with the Egg Harbor Police Department on Feb. 12, for possession of heroin, drug paraphernalia, and a hypodermic syringe, with another party, Kristopher Appley, 33 of Hamilton Township. The two were also charged with hindering apprehension.
“The cooperative response and inter-agency investigation together with modern technology resulted in a safe conclusion to a dangerous situation and the return of valuable property to its owner, which was likely destined for serious damage and/or being abandoned in Newark or a similar location,” Richards told The Alternative Press. “I am very proud of the dispatchers, Police Officers and Detectives who worked on this case.”