DNA Links Suspect to Burglaries At Elks Lodges
DNA evidence collected from a surgical mask left at the scene connects suspect to Tenafly and New Milford Elks Lodge burglaries.
Chief of Police Frank Papapietro reported that with the help of DNA evidence, police were able to connect Herbie Sheffield, 45, of Elizabeth, to the case of $4800 taken from the safe of the New Milford Elks Lodge on July 25, 2011.
According to Papapietro, Lt. Detective Frank Ramaci responded to the scene and observed one safe pried open and what appeared to be an attempt at the opening of a second safe. In addition, Papapietro said that the bar cash register and gaming equipment were also pried open.
Papapietro reported that at the time of this burglary, agencies throughout the area began to see a rash of burglaries in similar establishments, including the Tenafly Elks Lodge where the suspect was taped on video surveillance wearing a surgical mask to hide his identity. The surgical mask was recovered at the scene and the Tenafly Police Department submitted it to the New Jersey State Police Lab for DNA evidence.
According to Papapietro, Summit Police arrested Sheffield this past summer and, using video images and DNA matches, area agencies, including the Tenafly Police Department, began charging him with burglaries.
Papapietro reported that while interviewing him at the Bergen County Jail, Sheffield admitted to Ramaci his role in the New Milford Elks Lodge burglary. Sheffield was subsequently charged by the New Milford Police Department with burglary and theft. According to Papapietro, all charges are still pending.