| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:50

    June 9 The Vernon Detective Bureau conducted an investigation regarding identity theft, which began in November 2008 when Charles Rossi an 89-year-old Highland Lakes resident noticed eight additional credit cards on his credit history report. The investigation revealed accounts opened at Target, Sears, Best Buy and Macy’s along with accounts at Bank of America, Chase, GE Money Bank. The total amount charged on these eight accounts was over $36,000. The investigation revealed that Melissa Mead, 40, a neighbor and friend of Rossi, had opened these accounts and convinced creditors to change the billing address to her address. She was charged with identity theft, forgery and improper use of credit cards. June 11 The Vernon Detective Bureau conducted an investigation in cooperation with The Hardyston Township Detective Bureau regarding a safe that was taken in Vernon Township. A resident on Route 517 in Vernon reported to the Vernon Police on May 21 that someone had forcibly entered his home and removed a 300-1b Sentry safe. The safe had cash and other valuables inside. The safe was recovered June 2 on Silver Grove Road in Hardyston Township with the assistance of the Hardyston Police and returned to the owner. The investigation revealed that the safe was opened and discarded by the resident on Silver Grove Road, who is recently deceased. The Vernon Police arrested Kathryn Reilly, 19, of Vernon, for her participation in assisting her now-deceased boyfriend for the burglary and safe theft. Reilly will appear in Court at a future date regarding these charges. June 15 The Vernon Detective Bureau charged Michael W. Avato, 25, of McAfee, with two counts of aggravated assault. These charges are the result of a drunk driving crash, which occurred in February 2008. The investigation revealed that two female passengers were injured during the crash. Both passengers were taken to Newton Memorial Hospital. One female passenger was transferred to Morristown Hospital with more severe injuries. Avato was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one count is a third degree offense and the other is a fourth degree offense. He was released on his own recognizance.