SPARTA, NJ-The Sparta Police Detective Bureau has charged two women in separate investigations regarding thefts from residential homes. The first incident occurred on May 19 when Det. Sgt. Terrence Mulligan investigated the alleged theft of a diamond engagement ring valued in excess of $16,000.  The alleged theft was reported from a residence within the township.

A second theft was reported May 25.  In this incident it is alleged approximately $1,600.00 in cash taken from a second home.  Subsequent investigation revealed that both homes employed the same local cleaning service.

When a suspect came to light, detectives attempted to locate her.  The suspect was identified as 40-year-old Lodi woman, Katherine Iafelice.  Detective Sergeant Mulligan and Detective Keith Hannam located Iafelice on May 29 at 11 a.m. as she was driving on South Shore Trail with several other cleaning service workers.  Iafelice was arrested a short time later when it was determined that her driver’s license was currently suspended.  She was then transported to Police Headquarters for processing. 

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It was later determined that the stolen ring was sold out of state and the stolen cash had been spent.  Iafelice was charged with two counts of Theft of Movable Property, both  Indictable Crimes of the Third Degree.  She was also charged with a Motor Vehicle Summons for Driving While Suspended.  She has a First Appearance in Superior Court in Newton on June 6 at 8:30 a.m. to answer to the charges.  Iafelice was then released on her own recognizance. 

On May 27, Detective Jeffrey McCarrick investigated a theft from a local residence, where it was alleged that $4,000 was stolen from an elderly blind woman who resided in the home. The victim had employed a home health care aid from a local agency. The victim had no other people at the home other than a family member and there was no evidence of any type of forced entry to the home.

On May 30 McCarrick and Mulligan went to the Sussex Boro home of the health care aid, identified as 39-year-old Stacy Reed.  It was later determined that Reed had taken the money and used to pay her own personal bills.  She was charged with one count of Theft of Movable Property an Indictable Crime of the Third Degree.  Reed has a First Appearance in Superior Court in Newton on June 11 at 8:30 a.m. to answer to the charge.

The Sparta Police urge all our residents that if they are going to keep expensive jewelry and large sums of cash in their homes to safely secure their valuables by putting them under lock and key, preferably a safe that is well hidden in the home, or to utilize bank safety deposit boxes.  Also ensure that contractors that have access to your homes are reputable, can provide legitimate references and are bonded.  If any of our residents have any questions they are urged to contact the Sparta Police Department at (973) 729-6121.