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Burglary Gang Carefully Eyes Homes, Prosecutor Says

Masked thieves continue to target wealthy neighborhoods, use electronics to avoid detection.

A sophisticated gang of thieves are continuing to carefully select unoccupied homes in wealthy neighborhoods and plot quick escape routes often to the nearest highway, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office said.

According to a statement released Friday by Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, the crew has targeted high-end homes in quiet neighborhoods, often on a cul-de-sac and along the interstate corridors for a quick getaway.

The crew, which has been compared to the infamous James Bond Gang, has used luxury rental vehicles to blend into the communities, Bianchi said.

The thieves are believed to be responsible for burglaries in Boonton Township, Chatham, Chester, Hanover, Harding, Kinnelon, Long Hill, Mendham, Montville, Morris Township, Parsippany and Randolph, Bianchi said. The crew has also been linked to incidents in Bernardsville, Bernards, Bridgewater and Warren Township in Somerset County.

"These offenders have targeted high-end residences in affluent neighborhoods," Bianchi said. "Houses are typically selected by size, expensive vehicles identified in the driveway and the appearance of the residence being empty."

Many of the homes have been burglarized during the early-evening hours, Bianchi said. A member of the crew often rings the door bell to determine if anyone is home, Bianchi said. Other members of the group go behind the home to see if there is anyone inside, Bianchi said.

When the crew feels no one is home, phone lines have often been cut and entry is gained by forcing open the front or rear door, Bianchi said.

According to Bianchi, exterior lights have been shattered and an alarm system was disabled at a Chatham Township home where the masked men were caught on a security camera forcing their way into the front door.

One member of the group usually remains in a getaway vehicle and drives around the block until "summoned via walkie-talkie or cellular phone" to pick up the rest of the crew, Bianchi said.

A silver Porsche with New York license plates was seen near a recent Parsippany burglary believed to be connected to the gang.

The gang targets master bedrooms, usually stuffing jewelry and cash into a pillow case, Bianchi said. Furs, credit cards and safes have also been stolen, Bianchi said.

"The group is skilled in the use of electronic equipment to avoid detection," Bianchi said. "They use cellular phones to communicate and monitor police movements using radio scanners. The burglars may also disable audible alarms from inside the home."

The crew usually wears ski masks, gloves and have key chain flashlights, Bianchi said.

After the burglaries, the gang sells the stolen jewelry to "fences," Bianchi said.

Bianchi urges residents to avoid having newspapers and packages left outside while on vacation. The prosecutor said residents should always lock their doors, activate alarm systems and lock garages that lead into the residence. For a full list of precautions, visit the prosecutor's website.

Residents should report all suspicious activity to local police departments and contact the Morris County Sheriff's Office Crime Stopper Program at 973-COPCALL with any information regarding the incidents.

Lulu October 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Some of the comments above warrant psychotherapy for the individuals making them.
Jon October 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Yes indeed, please come try to rob my home. In fact, I'm going to leave my newspapers sitting at the end of the driveway just to invite you over, and I won't be answering the doorbell when you ring it. When you come in, prepare to have a few new orafices. My .45 and my 12-gauge are both fully loaded at all times, and ready to do exactly what they were designed to do.
Jon October 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Hey Nick - Please walk around your house and pick up each item you own, and look on the bottom or back of it to see where it was made, and keep a tally. When you are done, please let us know what percentage of the items were made in China. It's under 3% in my house. For the clothing I wear, it's 0.00%.
Andy October 20, 2012 at 03:00 PM
For those who are ready, willing and able to pop off a couple of caps or arrows at the thieves; Please remember, the meter reader comes around once a month... don't confuse him/her for the thief going to the back. For the guy who thinks that these thieves are entitled to steal because of the economy, that a large percentage of goods bought in America are from China (don't get me wrong, I hear ya there; I try to buy like you) and the fact that there are better than average wage earners in Morris County so, they're getting targeted because they're "Fat Cats", are you kidding me??? Did you read the article? The thieves rent upscale cars to fit in, they hit upscale homes, they steal furs and jewelry, have look outs, listen to scanners, and use two ways or cell phones... they are not from "Sherwood Forest"; they are not doing this to keep the family fed and the creditors off their backs... their doing it because that's what they do, they're thieves!!! I'm not endorsing the whole vigilante program but, It does deter criminal activity. if the criminals have to worry about running into an armed society who's had enough and are willing to stand up for themselves. Lulu, start making the appointments...
Gene Osso October 20, 2012 at 03:12 PM
These thieves are cowards. None of you will get a chance to shoot one of them. Th will not go into an occupied home because they already know that most people in this county are not wishy washy anti gun liberals and that one wrong house break in could be their last. No, these are cowards. Hopefully, like most criminals, they do something stupid and the.police will be right there to snag them. If by chance they break into an occupied home, i hope that homeowner blows their frickin heads off.
Ktown October 20, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Nick, Do you know for sure they are using the proceeds for the sick and poor? Are you part of this group? If not OPEN your eyes and don't be so naive. Are you justifying thier actions? It has nothing to do with unemployment rates it has everything to do with criminals and these people are criminals.
Madison Station October 20, 2012 at 03:42 PM
So you're suggesting it would be better if they terrorized families at home by breaking down the door and pointing automatic weapons at them? Please...
Gene Osso October 20, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Um...no, im not suggesting that at all....if thats what you garnered from my statement, i think your reading comprehension is in dire need of a tune up.
Madison Station October 20, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Well, how can these criminals be cowards then? The alternative is what I wrote...and what you implied.
Steve O October 20, 2012 at 03:58 PM
So sorry you seem to think we do not live in a society governed by laws and based upon economics. We know them and if we don't like them we have 2 choice,- change them or move to another country. The problem is not where things are made but rather we did a very poor job of seeing that jobs would move and did not prepare our people to move on to other jobs with new skill sets. If we did the things you suggest our economy would become less efficient and other governments would not lend us the money we need. You describe the problem as jobs leaving while I describe that as the symptom and we should have anticipated that happening and been prepared by educating people to do the things we would need them to do. After all we saw this happen in England, France, Germany etc. If I asked you to make me something and you had the choice of making it for $1.00 or $2.00 Total Cost of Good Sold and you would make $2.25 which place would you make it? The market is rational and we need to understand that as we plan. The problem is planning is a 5 to 10 year cycle while politics seems to run on a much shorter time line. . By the way you desire for nasty replies does indicate a view of the fact you don't value discussion but rather you have already decided you are right and no one else has a view worth listening to. I would prefer a discussion that helps us all see and value the others perception. We may not agree but we understand how and why they feel the way they do.
kcd October 20, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Thankfully we have the Patch to make our community aware of these robberies in our backyards! God forbid we get Nixle alerts or articles in the Eagle to keep us on our toes
Mary Ann Santora October 20, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Let the people be vigilant,,report suspicious activity and most of all let the police do their job. They WILL get them hopefully before some innocent person gets hurt by these THUGS.
Barthalomo October 20, 2012 at 08:26 PM
It's Dems looking for more revenue ! Maybe acorn for Obama or a new support for elections .
Dan Grant October 20, 2012 at 08:54 PM
This should come as no suprise after a couple of years of cutting the budgets of Police Departments all over Morris County. Morris is a target county with ready access to expensive homes and a network of highways to use as escape routes. Almost every township has a stressed Police Department and has cut personel all so that Elected Officials can claim that they have held the line on taxes. Many Towns are losing the most experienced Officers out of fear of what pension promises will be broken. The total tax levy for most Towns is about 18-20 percent of your property tax bill. Police departments are a portion of that. If you want to damage your security by saving a few dollars on your tax bill then you will live with the consequences.
CSS October 20, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Funny thing is I'm not sure if you're talking about the people eager to kill another human or the ones making excuses for burglary...
Mary WIlson October 20, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Give me a break, the police are not being underpaid and/or squeezed out. Employees, private and public, all over this country are being asked to do more and get paid less.
Pete October 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM
SO... the recent promotion in Parsippany does more good than hiring two or three more frontline cops ?? Please enlighten me. And "Underpaid" ? I don't THINK so.
Patchisarag October 20, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Who said anything about underpaid?
John October 20, 2012 at 11:50 PM
If they have a security video of them from Chatham, then why not share the description? I am sure I can guess and if I see a porsche or mercedes with 2 or more of them in our neighborhoods, you can trust that a call will be made. It's happening in broad daylight....Ridiculous as no one can be that good.
Patchisarag October 21, 2012 at 12:12 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50133494n
Alice Jameson October 21, 2012 at 12:31 AM
I’m inclined to believe Lulu is referring to “the ones making excuses for burglary.”
MOCK October 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM
shocked at all the bitter jealousy
Dan Grant October 21, 2012 at 11:19 AM
MW, I would suggest that you look at what's happening to police departments and use the few dollars you save on taxes to buy a clue.
JC October 21, 2012 at 04:23 PM
My pit bull Lucy would love to meet these guys one afternoon for lunch.
Concerned October 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM
NIck give me a break. There will always be people that love to feed off people who have. I am sure you will be voting for Obama. In your eyes, redistribution is just fine. You do seem somewhat disgruntled in your own life. Go out there and make a change, go and hire someone yourself. But wait, you have to be somewhat of a leader/ business OWNER which you are not, obviously. When the thieves break into your house, have them sit at the table for milk and cookies. OPEN your eyes.
VietNam Vet October 23, 2012 at 07:11 AM
Nick, what has that got to do with it, my wife just lost her job, does that mean I would be perfectly in the right to go and rob her ex-bosses home to get even? Use your head idiot.
Julles51 October 23, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Your name says it all...Mock. Where's the bitter jealousy - other than the thieves who are robbing upscale neighborhoods instead of going to work to earn it themselves?
manup February 19, 2013 at 02:16 AM
You cant believe eveything you see on tv and the news paper. People kill me cause you just get info from anybody and run with it what did they find on them? Nothing!!! They keep showing the same damn picture on tv like they found something new people do your homework if you trying to fellow the story ... What a joke
manup February 19, 2013 at 02:21 AM
If they so call hv video how come they dont show any video but the one they have. Bad cop work if you ask me
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