Tenant Accused of Pawning Hopatcong Landlord's Jewelry

25-year-old man allegedly stole more than $50,000 in items from Oaklahoma Trail residence.

Thomas Burnett (Photo courtesy of the Hopatcong Police Department)
Thomas Burnett (Photo courtesy of the Hopatcong Police Department)
A 25-year-old man has been accused of stealing jewelry from his Hopatcong landlord, police said.

Thomas Burnett, who moved to Piscataway after getting evicted from an Oaklahoma Trail residence, was charged with third-degree theft and arrested for outstanding warrants.

According to Lt. Thomas Kmetz, Burnett was a tenant at the Oaklahoma Trail home from March 2013 until he was evicted in November 2013 when the landlord suspected him of stealing items.

Burnett kept the garage door opener and the homeowner claimed he used that to continue to get into the home and steal more items, Kmetz said.

The landlord went to Hopatcong Police in January when he discovered a pawn shop receipt in a vehicle he co-owned with Burnett, Kmetz said. Police showed the victim photos of jewelry recently pawned at the store and he identified items that belonged to his deceased mother, according to Kmetz. Burnett had pawned the items that were identified, Kmetz said.

Officers located and arrested Burnett in Piscataway.

Burnett was taken to the Sussex County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail with no 10 percent option.
B B February 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Come on now, He's just following the example put forth by our great leadership in this town.
Emma February 27, 2014 at 10:06 AM
I don't live in Hopatcong, and I'm glad I don't. It's nothing but crime and drugs, drugs and crime, non stop. No reason to go to Hopatcong for any reason.
B B February 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM
It's actually not all that bad, after all this is a site that reports mostly Hopatcong happenings, go to another patch for a different town and you will see similar stories. This crap is in every town dont be so naive to think it is not.
jazzman February 27, 2014 at 12:09 PM
JS February 27, 2014 at 01:36 PM
That's his Driver's License picture not a mug shot? He looks like he was on something at the DMV.
Bill McCabe February 27, 2014 at 04:01 PM
I am the Landlord spoken of. I need to clarify a few items in this article 1. The dollar value of the jewelry was no where near $50k 2. Mr. Burnett was evicted 12/23/13. 3. Mr. Burnett did not have possession of my garage door opener and did not re-enter my home after he was asked to leave. Please make these corrections immediately as this case is coming up and this mis-information is not good.
Bill McCabe February 27, 2014 at 04:08 PM
Mr. Pignataro, remove this article from patch since very little of it is correct. If you wanted an accurate detail of events you should have contacted me directly. Kindly remove this immediately.
Mike Pignataro (Editor) February 27, 2014 at 04:10 PM
Thank you for the information. What is posted came directly from the police department. I will address this with them and make the appropriate changes.
Bill McCabe February 27, 2014 at 04:52 PM
With all due respect, this information did not come from either of the officers involved in the apprehension. I myself had a sideline part in Mr. Burnett' apprehension. Please do not misunderstand, I am not condoning this crime believe me, I just want the facts to be accurate. No one is more devastated and grateful to the Hopatcong PD for this arrest than I am, I have lost items that had great sentimental value to me and can now never be replaced as they were melted down after being pawned.
B B February 27, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Same story in the Herald by the way.
Jessica February 27, 2014 at 06:17 PM
The story is copied directly from the police report online.
jazzman February 27, 2014 at 06:34 PM
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 27, 2014 at 07:27 PM
I am sure this young man will see the light and get a good paying job and repay every penny. Just look at him, give him a 2nd chance. Put him on probation and he will run right out and be hired by costco. just watch it will happen. He will be on time to his job and every pay day he wont go buy the biggest bag of pot he can afford. won't happen, he will turn his paycheck directly over to the victim
Eyeballs February 27, 2014 at 08:42 PM
more than likely another liberal democrat... thank you...
Bill McCabe February 27, 2014 at 08:54 PM
I am the Landlord and a Republican. The police did a great job, I wrote a letter to the chief and the captain thanking the detective and the patrolman for their work. All I wanted was the correct story told what's wrong with that?
Eyeballs February 27, 2014 at 09:07 PM
nothing sir, I'm so sorry you were robbed by someone who is more than likely a liberal no good dastardly democrat... best wishes and thank you...
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 28, 2014 at 11:12 AM
He can get any job he wants with those ear lobes


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