Thieves get probation

Judge assigns trio to pretrial intervention.

By: Marisa Maldonado
   Three men were ordered last week to enter a pretrial intervention program, following their involvement in last year’s attempted theft of $130,000 of car parts from a Cranbury warehouse, police said.
   Joseph Nemetz, 34, of Millford, Pa.; Darren Teta, 38, of Jackson; and George Reels, 34, of Paterson all received several years of probation as well for the attempted burglary at Ford High Velocity Center, 200 Prospect Plains Road. State Superior Court Judge Melvin Gelade, sitting in New Brunswick, handed down the order Jan. 27.
   Under the state’s pretrial intervention program, defendants are required to complete a specific rehabilitation program. If successfully completed, the original charges are dismissed and there is no record of conviction. If the defendants fail to complete the program, they are remanded to the courts for trial.
   Police did not release the details of the specific rehabilitation program ordered.
   Mr. Nemetz and Mr. Teta, both forklift drivers at the warehouse, hid six ignition palettes in a trailer behind other merchandise on March 31. Both men denied any knowledge of the parts’ whereabouts when their employer later questioned them, police said.
   Mr. Reels, a former employee of Ford’s Teterboro site, broke into the building three nights later at around 11 p.m. to retrieve an envelope that the other two men were supposed to leave, police said. But Mr. Teta and Mr. Nemetz never told him that they could not leave the envelope, which was supposed to contain money, keys and false receipts for the palettes, police said.
   After 40 minutes, Mr. Reels set off the security alarm and fled the warehouse, police said. A surveillance camera taped Mr. Reels, and employees and family members later identified him as the man in the tape, police said.
   Cranbury police arrested Mr. Reels on May 9. Further investigation led to the arrests of Mr. Nemetz on Aug. 17 and Mr. Teta on Aug. 18. Mr. Teta and Mr. Nemetz were charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit theft and attempted theft. Mr. Reels was charged with third-degree burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.
   They were released as part of the pretrial program.