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February  16

Baristaville Burglar Busted, Say Cops

Within hours of four early morning Baristaville break-ins on February 13 -- where cash and property were stolen --  police had a suspect in custody.

Police have charged John Berardo, 41, of Newark, with break-ins at Illusions Hair Salon on Valley Road, and Bloomfield Avenue's Gianni’s Hair and Skin Salon and the Cingular office. Deputy Chief Mayers, of the Montclair Police Department, said an investigation by Montclair detectives, working with their Bloomfield counterparts, led them to Berardo, who had been recently released from prison. He is also under investigation for the fourth break in that day at Marzullo's Restaurant on Grove Street.  And he's been charged with two other burglaries on February 6 - on Valley Road and Church Street.

February 16, 2006 in Sirens | Permalink


At what point do we get to just take them out back and shoot them??? I'm a bleeding liberal but I recognize you can't change pond scum into wine!

Posted by: todd | Feb 16, 2006 10:19:49 AM

I'd like to see recompense be part and parcel of the penal system. If your burglaries caused $10,000 in damage you should be in prison *working* for a reasonable hourly rate and the money paid to your victims. When the bill is paid, you get out. If you work hard you get out sooner, if you don't you stay in for as long as it takes.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 16, 2006 10:25:07 AM

A little harsh there, lad. Perhaps career felons could merely go hunting with Cheney. Or on a nice short ride to the ferry with Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Feb 16, 2006 10:25:48 AM

I like your idea, ROC.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 16, 2006 10:28:49 AM

i think perhaps executing burglars is a little harsh. are you from texas, todd?

Posted by: tattler | Feb 16, 2006 10:40:50 AM

or they could take a 'tour' of Jason William's mansion..

Posted by: RadonMan | Feb 16, 2006 10:42:56 AM

Okay, ROC, let us say recompense as part of a thief's sentence. But what for other offenses?

Your suggestion also assumes that prisons could provide real work worth fair compensation. (That'd involve high set-up costs.) Which would perhaps require less secure prisons. Thus greater possibility of escape. And greater outlays to allow for pursuit and capture of escapees.

I'm curious if you've ever read James Q. Wilson's somewhat notorious (among liberals, no matter that he was from Harvard) "Thinking About Crime." If you haven't, you should. I'm positive you (though not perhaps todd who says he's a bleeding heart liberal) will appreciate some of Wilson's suggestions for their sheer outrageousness.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Feb 16, 2006 10:43:11 AM

Most burglaries are committed to fund a 'drug habit'. Once society decides that drug use/addiction is a medical problem, then maybe, we'll see a reduction in burglaries.

Posted by: RadonMan | Feb 16, 2006 10:46:06 AM

Let's bring back chain gangs.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 16, 2006 10:52:37 AM

I think dollars and cents could only apply to crimes of property like burglary. But these lesser crimes usually begat larger ones in time.

It could not apply to crimes against persons.

I have on two occasions been the victim of large (in my mind) property crimes. In both cases convictions were won and on both occasions release and probation have occurred owing to "good behavior" in too short a time.

Yet *I* am still out a lot of money for property damage/loss not covered by insurance.

I am, however, free to sue the deadbeats in civil court.

We have plenty of potholes in need of filling. Plenty of brick crosswalks to construct, perhaps even leaves to be removed from the curbside.

If convicts were regularly seen working off their debts in public, we'd have a a visible reminder of the wages of crime for every impressionable teenager to see. We'd save money on the work, and they would pay their *very real* debts.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 16, 2006 10:54:06 AM


Hard physical labor is one of the best cures for addiction.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 16, 2006 10:55:09 AM


Legalizing drugs is something I agree with.

But it's not a way to lower crime, even if it is a peripheral. Crime is the product of poverty.

Remember, liquor is legal already.

Posted by: Left Of Center, like Suzanne Vega | Feb 16, 2006 11:08:16 AM

so how bad is 'crime' in baristaville? would you recommend living there to a young professional and his family?

Posted by: fj | Feb 16, 2006 11:09:58 AM

"Crime is the product of poverty."

I never bought this one, LOC, sorry. I am more apt to believe that someone under the influence of alcohol or crack is more likely to commit a crime to feed their addiction than someone who is merely poor.

Plently of poor people are not drawn to a life of crime in the same way that a person's middle class or upper middle class status does not exempt him or her from criminal behavior.

I think it has more to do with lack of character rather than lack of $$$.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 16, 2006 11:13:30 AM

You may be right, MM.

But I think there is a relationship between poverty and crime, whether it is causal or not.

Either way, I think the idea that legalizing drugs would result in a decrease in crime is unsound.

FJ - I am a young professional and have lived in montclair for almost 5 years now.

The crime comes in waves and it seems we are in the midst of one right now.

Posted by: Left Of Center, like Suzanne Vega | Feb 16, 2006 11:17:47 AM

I think the "normal" crime is at "normal" levels here. No better, no worse. The crime perpetrated via the taxation rate is completely out of hand. We have among the highest taxes in the land.

If you are liberal minded, you'll fit in nicely. If you are conservative, you'll need to keep it corked at any social function, public event, school play, etc. or be prepared for some degree of ostracism.

Montclair is the flip side of the deepest Bible belt community in, say, Kansas. Its residents, in my experience, are as certain of the absoluteness of their morality as are Pentecostal evangelicals in the backwaters of Arkansas and also similarly tolerant of divergent political/moral views.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 16, 2006 11:19:37 AM

The causes of crime have nothing to do with punishment for it. Nothing whatsoever. First one puts the fire out and *then* figures out the cause.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 16, 2006 11:20:52 AM

Every prison sentence should be implicated with both restitution and rehabilitation.

Penal warehousing does nothing very much of a corrective nature and the commonplace brutality of prisons only further degrades the human beings within them. I don't want the ticking timebombs who are released from some of our truly violent, drug-infested and disease-ridden prisons going off in the vicinity of anyone I love.

We sure don't get our money's worth, and there's an opportunity cost to incarcerating people without taking any measures to rehabilitate them.

God keep anyone I love from ever finding him- or herself in prison serving time.

Posted by: Ginger | Feb 16, 2006 11:35:14 AM

The fruits of hard work (earlier release) would be very rehabilitative.

"God keep anyone I love from ever finding him- or herself in prison serving time."

No one "finds" themselves in prision Ginger, they usually buy a ticket.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 16, 2006 11:40:52 AM

Okay, I guess I have to throw it out: “Wicked people exist," observed James Q. Wilson (Thinking About Crime 1975). "Nothing avails except to set them apart from innocent people" (p. 235).

It was, probably still is, an enormously influential book. And it speaks to the dichotomy of spirit in Baristaville that ROC remarks on above.

Wilson also wrote, "It requires not merely optimistic but heroic assumptions about the nature of man to lead one to suppose that a person, finally sentenced after (in most cases) many brushes with the law, and having devoted a good part of his youth and young adulthood to misbehavior of every sort, should, by either the solemnity of prison or the skillfulness of a counselor, come to see the error of his ways and to experience a transformation of his character."

These are thoughts to ponder in any discussion of crime in Baristaville. To merely cluck approvingly or disapprovingly, as most of us posters do, is to self-induce a form of paralysis, a kind of moral spinal tap that precludes any real chance of dialogue, that plays to the separation ROC observes (even if I suspect he was doing a whisk too much personal case-pleading there).

At what point, then, do crime levels in Baristaville become intolerable? And if so, what is to be done about them? These are seemingly simple questions, but yet I see very little discussion of these two basic issues. In such a discussion too, I suggest, raising the issue of either drugs or poverty as a "cause of crime" is a sort of red herring, certainly a distraction.

Posted by: cathar (8t) | Feb 16, 2006 11:44:14 AM

ROC you know justice is not equal to all comers, and sometimes innocent people find themselves imprisoned. Too, sometimes the same crime is prosecuted more vigorously in one case compared with another, which is a circumstance the perp can do nothing to control. Thus I stand by the "find him/herself" construct.

Posted by: Ginger | Feb 16, 2006 11:50:36 AM

Then Ginger I'd suggest revising your prayer:

"God keep anyone I love from ever finding him- or herself in prison serving time, wrongfully."

That I'd agree with.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 16, 2006 11:57:38 AM

There is most definately a strong connection between poverty and crime.

If you see your children hungry and cold, you will do what it takes to get them what they need. If you have to resort to crime, you will. Parental instinct.

In the case of drug abusers, they can't help their actions because their morals have been replaced with a severe addiction.

Posted by: Hammer | Feb 16, 2006 12:02:55 PM

"If you see your children hungry and cold, you will do what it takes to get them what they need. If you have to resort to crime, you will. Parental instinct."

Pure fantasy!

Can you even find mention of "parental instinct" in *any* crime reports of, say, muggings? Armed robbery? Burglaries? Car theft?


Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 16, 2006 12:12:17 PM

Not to say that it is the cause of all crime, but there CAN BE a connection between poverty and crime.

Thanks ROC.

Posted by: Hammer | Feb 16, 2006 12:14:30 PM

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