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Neighbor Accused of Brooklyn Mountain Road Burglaries

Security footage of a red pickup truck and pawned stolen items led to the arrest of Michael Laborda, 25, police said.

Michael Laborda (photo/Hopatcong Police Dept.)
Michael Laborda (photo/Hopatcong Police Dept.)
A man who lives on the very street where several Hopatcong burglaries have taken place was arrested and charged in two of the crimes and in an attempted break-in on a nearby street, Hopatcong Police said Thursday.

Michael Laborda, 25, of Brooklyn Mountain Road, was arrested Wednesday afternoon, driving a red extended cab Ford pickup truck that the Hopatcong Police had put out in an alert for on the same day.

It was the security camera image of the truck that helped find Laborda, Hopatcong Police Lt. Thomas Kmetz said. The image was from the camera of the homeowner on Columbia Trail in Tuesday's attempted burglary. The homeowner had heard someone at the front door, then saw a white man trying to break in through the back door of his home, police said.

Police said the intruder fled in a red extended cab Ford, the same one picked up by the homeowner's security camera.

Kmetz said police found the truck parked at a Brooklyn Mountain Road residence, and they had been staking out the house since 6 a.m. Wednesday. When detectives arrived at the house, they knocked on the door, but Laborda allegedly refused to answer.

Laborda eventually left the house at about 3:30 p.m., got into the red pickup and drove away until he was stopped by police on Lakeside Boulevard.

Laborda had allegedly pawned some of the jewelry stolen in one of the burglaries. Kmetz said they found Laborda's license plate noted among the records of a pawn shop where some of the stolen jewelry turned up. 

"That gave us probable cause," Kmetz said.

Laborda, who is unemployed and who cooperated with detectives after his arrest, had allegedly broken into two houses that were near his own home, Kmetz said. He was charged in two of the three Brooklyn Mountain Road burglaries and Tuesday's attempted Columbia Trail burglary.

Laborda was charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of fourth-degree possession of burglar tools, two counts of third-degree theft for the stolen jewelry and cash and three counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief for the damage done when the homes were burglarized.

Laborda was taken to Sussex County Jail in Newton in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The third Brooklyn Mountain Road burglary is still under investigation, police said.
BeachBum January 17, 2014 at 07:51 AM
Catch up with ya next week (or sooner) when the headlines report more crimes in Hopatcong
Afro Maniac January 17, 2014 at 08:54 AM
Man up and tell us the town you live in D-Bag . Your touch of a puss to say it or you will lie . Go back amd put your peenie weenie little brain back under the rock you came from .
Afro Maniac January 17, 2014 at 08:58 AM
Such a puss . Excuse the auto correct . Wouldn't want to mis represent Hopatcong !
Observer January 17, 2014 at 09:32 AM
Today's Daily Record, page A3.
Frank forkman January 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM
Afro Maniac , Don't get your BP up to high there .. You are 100% rite in what you say , but easy now . Don't blow a gasket over some people that aren't worth it to begin with ....

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