Watches Stolen From Unlocked Cars Lead to Arrest

Hopatcong man charged after being identified from deer camera images, tracked by K-9 Unit, police say.

A Hopatcong resident’s deer camera, along with the Sussex County K-9 unit, led to the arrest of a borough man who allegedly stole items from unlocked cars, Lt. Thomas Kmetz said.

Dennis Fastiggi, 25, has been charged with burglary, criminal trespass and theft.

On Jan. 20 a Maxim Drive resident brought images taken from his deer camera to police that showed the back of an individual trying to break into the homeowner’s vehicle, Kmetz said.

The resident also brought the images to Castaways Bar and showed patrons, seeking the identity of the individual, Kmetz said. Both the patrons and a Hopatcong Police Department detective identified the individual as Fastiggi, Kmetz said.

On Jan. 23, a Mohawk Avenue resident saw a man inside her vehicle and yelled at him to leave, which he did, Kmetz said. The suspect ran through the snow and was later tracked by the Sussex County K-9 Unit, Kmetz said.

The K-9 led police to Fastiggi's home on Wildwood Shores, Kmetz said, where Fastiggi was arrested when his sneakers matched the prints in the snow.

Fastiggi was then brought in and interviewed at police headquarters, and two watches not belonging to Fastiggi were recovered, Kmetz said. Hopatcong police are still looking for the owners of the watches, Kmetz said.

An investigation revealed Fastiggi was at Castaways Bar on Jan. 20, left the business and traveled up Delaware Trail, Hudson Avenue and Maxim Drive, burglarizing vehicles along the way that were not locked, Kmetz said.

For questions about this post, email jason.koestenblatt@patch.com.

Class of 96 February 02, 2013 at 05:30 PM
I used to love that town! Now I'm so glad I moved! Seems like the town attracts trouble! I was born and raised there and we never locked our car doors! Hopefully it's just a sign of the times.
hopatcong harry February 03, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Hopatcong is a great town!! Do you think other towns are crime free?Just a few low lifes does not mean the whole town is bad. Read the papers,watch the news. Its all over
Eli February 05, 2013 at 09:39 PM
This kid is always in the news paper.
Mr.Clean February 05, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Why do some people think this sort of thing only happens in Hopatcong. It goes on all over. All fueled by the need for drugs. Some towns just don't put it in the papers or online.
Ken DiMilia February 07, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Its all about money for drugs. Sadly


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