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New Milford Police Make Arrest In Tire Slashing Spree

Matthew DeStafano, 23, of New Milford
Matthew DeStafano, 23, of New Milford Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy NEW MILFORD PD

NEW MILFORD, N.J. -- New Milford police ended a two-month search Thursday with the arrest of a man who they said slashed nearly 80 tires on more than three dozen vehicles during a pair of pre-dawn vandalism sprees, Daily Voice has learned.

A caller brought Sgt.Nicholas DiGenio and Officers Kevin Morris and Christopher Bores to McKinley Avenue, where they spotted Matthew DeStafano, 23, of New Milford.

He was carrying a driver's side mirror and a pair of scissors, Police Chief Frank Ramaci told Daily Voice.

A canvass of the area revealed 15 vehicles with 41 slashed tires, which Ramaci said caused an estimated $10,500 in damages.

This comes after an Aug. 7 spree, in which 38 tires were slashed on 21 vehicles, he said.

Police charged Destafano with 29 counts of criminal mischief and released him without bail pending a court hearing.

Authorities had issued a sketch of their primary suspect based on interviews with witnesses a few days after the August attacks.

They described the vandal as white or light-skinned Hispanic, about 5-foot-8, with a chubby build, buzzed haircut and dark hair and eyes. He was wearing a hooded grey sweatshirt with possible writing on it and dark gym shorts, they said.

The summer attacks occurred between 1 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on Charles Street and McKinley and Madison Avenues, Detective Kevin Van Saders said.

“All of the tires appeared to have been punctured with a flathead screwdriver type tool,” he said. “One of the vehicles was also significantly scratched up on its hood and driver’s side door.”

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