Man sentenced in string of residential burglaries, vehicle thefts in Chatham Township
CHATAHM TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – A man has been sentenced for his primary role in a string of residential burglaries, motor vehicle thefts in Chatham Township, according to Morris County Acting Prosecutor Robert Carroll.
Between 2018 and 2020, Morris County law enforcement identified a significant increase in motor vehicle burglaries and thefts in Morris County. As a result, the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force (ATTF) was created, which is comprised of local and county law enforcement agencies. The ATTF also works collaboratively with the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force to identify and focus investigative efforts into the organized criminal auto theft gangs which are negatively affecting the quality of life in North Jersey, including Morris County.
In September 2020, Chatham Township Detective Muta Blanford, with the assistance of the ATTF, investigated a series of residential burglaries and thefts that occurred in Chatham Township. Elijah Lott, 22, was developed as a suspect using shared resources, intelligence driven model of investigation and was arrested and later charged in a superseding indictment with multiple counts of residential burglary, theft, conspiracy, and fraudulent credit card theft and use.
On September 23, 2021, the Honorable Robert M. Hanna, J.S.C. sentenced Lott for his guilty pleas on nine separate counts contained in the indictment. Lott was sentenced to two terms of seven years in state prison on convictions for second-degree conspiracy to commit theft and second-degree theft. In addition, Judge Hanna also sentenced Lott to four years in prison on four burglary counts and three years in prison for three counts of fraudulent credit card theft and use stemming from the burglary and thefts of these victims. Finally, the Court also ordered Lott to pay the victims over $50,000 in restitution.
“The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Office and our municipal police partners reaffirm our commitment to aggressively investigating and prosecuting those who prey on our residents and especially those who violate the sanctity of our citizens’ homes. The coordinated efforts of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Intelligence Unit, and the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force, resulted in the successful investigation, prosecution, and conviction of Elijah Lott. I commend the Task Force officers, led by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brad Seabury and Captain Jan Monrad, who work tirelessly to keep Morris County citizens safe from these predatory criminal acts,” Carroll said.
Prosecutor Carroll thanks the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Chatham Township Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, and the East Hanover Police Department for devoting resources and personnel to the Auto Theft Task Force for this investigation. AP Erin Callahan represented the State at plea and sentencing.