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'Highly Intoxicated' Man Accused of Burglary, Mischief

Long Valley 25-year-old allegedly caused damage to several cars and properties.

A "highly intoxicated" Long Valley man allegedly broke into a vehicle and a home, and also caused damage to a property and other cars in one Morristown neighborhood early Sunday morning, police said.

Matthew Griffin, 25, of Long Valley, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, burglary and two counts of attempting to commit a crime.

Officer Yeison De Los Santos was dispatched to the area on report of a suspicious-looking man leaning against a vehicle parked on the street at about 3:30 a.m., according to a police report.

Griffin, who De Los Santos described in his report as "highly intoxicated," said he was trying to find a friend named "Sean" whom he claimed lived at the house he was standing outside. Officers then noticed items that appeared to have been removed from the car Griffin was leaning on, according to the report.

The vehicle was unlocked and didn't appear like anyone had forcibly tried to break into it, according to the report. Griffin said he had been inside it, thinking it may be his friend's vehicle, according to the report.

Police later spoke with the vehicle's owner, who said she had left it unlocked because its remote was broken and she had not yet been able to replace it. Police advised her to always lock her vehicle, then transported Griffin to police headquarters to be processed on the criminal mischief charge. De Los Santos later transported Griffin to Morristown Medical Center due to his high level of intoxication, according to the report.

Early the following morning, Officer Brian McDonnell went to a Macculloch Avenue residence on report of suspicious activity. The officer spoke with the property owner, who said an attempted break-in occurred at his house and his vehicle had been burglarized the previous night, according to the report.

The owner told police when he had walked out of his house that morning at about 7 a.m., he saw his rear door was propped open with "a brown paper bag filled with old newspapers and he observed foot prints on the door," according to the report.

The property owner said he had observed items from his vehicle laying on the ground outside, as well as a belt, which did not belong to him. 

McDonnell was then approached by a resident of nearby Oak Street who said his property also had been damaged the night before.

The Oak Street resident told police the antenna on his car and one section of a split rail fence in the rear of the house were broken.

The officer then spoke with De Los Santos, who advised him of Griffin's arrest the night before on nearby Colles Avenue.

During his interview with the Macculloch Avenue resident, McDonnell observed several vehicles on nearby Farrugut Place that appeared to have been damaged and their side mirrors pushed in, according to the report. In total, police observed seven additional vehicles that appeared damaged on Farragut Place, as well as the one vehicle on Colles Avenue.

Officers then headed to the hospital to question Griffin about the other incidents in that area, but found him walking on Franklin Street behind Town Hall. 

Asked if the belt found on the Macculloch Avenue property was his, Griffin said it was, according to the report. Police also asked if he had entered another vehicle the night before, a pick-up truck, according to the report. Griffin said he thought he had, because he had driven a pick-up truck into town the night before, according to the report.

Griffin was again arrested and charged this time with burglary and two counts of attempting to commit a crime. Bail was set at $2,500 and his shoes and belt were put into evidence, according to the report.

For questions about this post, email john.dunphy@patch.com.

Motown Resident December 10, 2012 at 12:27 AM
If he was in a bar, we certainly would have heard about it. Once again, not to sound like a broken record, but is this really news worthy? I suspect, if every car accident was reported in front of the TD Bank on South Street or for that matter in Morristown, people would be afraid to drive here. This bar reporting is really tainting a wonderful town. By the sounds of things, you'd think that our town is dependent on the bar driven economy, and the hordes of people that travel from afar. (which it is not) This patch is a great forum, especially during "Sandy", I hope it doesn't go the way of morristowngreen.com
Moira December 10, 2012 at 01:52 AM
"That area" is one of the nicest in town.
Mother Morristown December 10, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Didn't I read that the Town is hiring 7 new police officers? Could it be the bars have something to do with it? Is't that about a million dollars in added annual expenses for the taxpayers?
Just sayin December 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Like I said earlier Mother Mos'town, if the BARS had to pay for the police and EMS that are needed because of their clients, we the residence of Mos'town would not be footing the bills ..... right now we are and the only one making on this deal are the bar owners and parking
Motown Resident December 11, 2012 at 12:50 PM
"Just sayin" It's a shame that policy wasn't started earlier with the hospital that utilizes over a million dollars in Morristown resources without paying property taxes. It's crazy seeing the different organizations utilize town resources without footing proportional billing. Could you tell me who should be paying for the electric for the "Christmas Lights" on the green under your plan? Or the over-time of the police with the St. Patrick's Day parade created by the "Friendly Son's" ?

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