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Cops Interrupt Burglary, Catch Man With Jewelry, Police Say

32-year-old being held in jail after allegedly attempting to steal from Atno Avenue residence. Police believe he may have been involved in other recent burglaries.

Two Morristown police officers interrupted an alleged attempted burglary at an Atno Avenue residence Tuesday morning. During the interruption, a 32-year-old homeless man was caught with stolen jewelry, police said.

Joseph Pirka was sent to the Morris County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail on charges of burglary and theft. Police believe he may have been involved in several other recent burglaries, according to Capt. Steven Sarinelli.

According to Sarinelli, the officers were working alongside the detectives division when they followed Pirka to the Atno Avenue residence just after 7 a.m. When officers found him inside the residence, Sarinelli said he was in possesion of several jewelry items. Sarinelli said the resident of the dwelling helped police.

"The information provided by the resident played an important role and assisted us in the investigation that ultimately resulted in the burglar's arrest," he said.

Police warned residents to be aware of their neighborhoods and to report any suspicious activities.

"A simple call to report a suspicious person could make a difference as in this case today," he said.

Sarinelli also said residents should make sure doors and windows are locked, keep motion sensor lights active and watch over their neighbors.

"The best defense is a strong united community," he said.

Anyone with information on crimes in Morristown is encouraged to call Morris County Crime Stoppers at 973-COP-CALL.

For questions on this report, email ariana.cohn-sheehan@patch.com

Chris February 14, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Give him a break. He was homeless and he was just trying to make himself feel at home! lol. Where are all these social services we pay so much in taxes for? Shouldn't someone have helped out this guy out? I'm sure he gladly went away to jail. Now he has roof over his head a 3 square meals a day instead of starving braving the cold winter weather. Now he its just going to be harder for this guy because, not only is he homeless, now he is a homeless criminal. Our tax dollars are going to go to paying for this guys food and shelter anyway, so why don't we let social services deal with him instead of the court system. I'm sure they could have dealt with it more efficiently and without causing more crime or clogging our courts or jails anymore than they already are.

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