Two charged in residential thefts

Cleaner, health aid charged with taking money, ring from homes

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— Police have 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 at more than $16,000. The alleged theft was reported from a residence within Sparta Township, according to police.

A second theft was reported a week later. In this incident it is alleged that approximately $1,600 in cash was stolen from a second home.

An investigation revealed that both homes employed the same local cleaning service.

The suspect was identified as 40-year-old Katherine Iafelice, of Lodi. She was arrested May 29 and charged with two counts of theft of movable property and given a motor vehicle summons for driving while suspended.

The ring had been sold out of state and the cash has been spent, police said.

Lafelice has a first appearance in New Jersey Superior Court in Newton on June 6. Iafelice has been released on her own recognizance.

On May 27, Det. 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, according to police.

On May 30, detectives went to the Sussex Borough home of 39-year-old Stacy Reed, the Health Care Aid.

It was determined that Reed had taken the money and used it to pay her own personal bills.

She was charged with one count of theft of movable property. Reed is due in New Jersey Superior Court for a first appearance June 11.

The Sparta Police Department is urging all 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.

Anyone with questions can contact the Sparta Police Department at 973-729-6121.

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