Hopatcong police: State bail reform system flawed

Police in Hopatcong say flaws within the state bail reform system have allowed an accused serial burglar to keep getting out of jail.

Police in Hopatcong say flaws within the state bail reform system have allowed an accused serial burglar to keep getting out of jail.

Police in Hopatcong say flaws within the state bail reform system have allowed an accused serial burglar to keep getting out of jail. (2/16/17)

HOPATONG - Police in Hopatcong are asking for the public's help in pushing state lawmakers to fix the bail reform system.

Lt. Thomas Kmetz says he's frustrated with the state's system especially in the case of an accused serial burglar who keeps going free. Kmetz says Jason Major has been arrested seven times in the last month for allegedly burglarizing homes in Hopatcong, Byram, Wayne, Pompton Lakes, Elmwood Park, Morris Township and Rockaway.

Kmetz says he blames Major's alleged criminal behavior on a drug addiction, but says the state's bail reform law is to blame for his ability to keep getting out of jail. Major is facing multiple charges including burglary, theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"We put him in jail Saturday morning and on Saturday afternoon he's released," says Kmetz. "You don't get any more frustrated than that... and on Sunday he commits another burglary.  How are we protecting our citizens? "

Kmetz is urging the public to contact New Jersey lawmakers and let them know what they think of the new bail system. He also says anyone who sees Major should contact 911.

The bail reform law went into effect on Jan. 1.

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