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Posted Friday, September 21st, 2018

Morris County Prosecutor's logoMorris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Chief of Investigations Stephen Wilson Jr., and Harding Township Police Chief Erik Heller announce the arrest Rodrigo Astete, 28, of Chile for an August burglary at a Harding residence.

Astete was arrested this week in Florida in a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement action.

On Aug. 20, Harding Police responded to a report of a residential burglary and found that some $40,000 in jewelry and other high-value personal property was missing.

Police commenced an investigation and, as a direct result of critical information obtained from a witness, were able to identify a suspect.

On Sept. 16, the Bay Harbor Island Police Department (Florida) and New York City Police Department apprehended Astete in connection with a residential burglary in Florida that was being investigated parallel to the Morris County investigation.

While the suspect was in custody in New York, Harding Police obtained an arrest warrant for Astete on burglary and theft charges in connection with the residential burglary in Harding.

Harding police badgeAstete is currently in custody in New York and awaiting extradition to Florida for an alleged string of burglaries committed in South Florida. Following the suspect’s prosecution for the Florida burglaries, he will be extradited to Morris County.

Harding Township Police and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division, Intelligence Unit worked together on this investigation and were able to identify the suspect.

The Prosecutor’s Office reminds residents that it is important to immediately report suspicious activity to law enforcement. Visit for crime prevention strategies.

Also, remember that you can provide crime tips for a possible reward to the Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers either online at or by calling (973) COP CALL – (973) 267-2255.

Inquiries can be directed to Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.