A team of investigators arrested five members of a burglary crew suspected of targeting high-end homes across North Jersey, including in Morris and Somerset counties, just as the thieves were trying to crack open a stolen safe at a Bergen County garage late Thursday, authorities said.
Five Englewood men were charged after investigators learned they had burglarized a home in a wealthy section of Greenwich, Conn., the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday.
Items taken from the home, including the safe, were seized in the bust, along with burglary tools.
Several of the men have lengthy criminal histories, some with links to the James Bond Gang, a high-end burglary syndicate rooted in Teaneck and Englewood.
"I have taken the problem of residential burglaries very seriously. The significant results of this investigation are the direct result of joint operations and information sharing across many law enforcement agencies throughout the state," Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi said.
The raid netted 27-year-old Englewood fugitive Akeem Boone, authorities confirmed. Boone is well-known to North Jersey law enforcement, and was being sought as part of an anti-crime crackdown targeting violent drug traffickers around Englewood.
Earlier this month, authorities said a search of Boone’s home turned up a stolen handgun, drug packaging paraphernalia and about 20 grams of crack cocaine. The accused drug dealer was arrested in August 2011 alongside reputed James Bond Gang associate Jerry Montgomery, of Teaneck, after a high speed chase in Sparta.
Also captured was Marc Rainey, 25, who was the wheelman in a 2008 drive-by shooting at Englewood’s Rock Creek Terrace complex, Englewood Police Chief O’Keefe said. Rainey was accused in May of burglarizing a Wyckoff home only three days after being released from prison.
Jamelle Singletary, 24, who is the nephew of reputed James Bond Gang affiliate Leon Roberts, was also captured in the arrest, authorities said.
Another alleged member of the crew, 24-year-old Jerrell Bordeaux, of Englewood, was acquitted in the shooting death of a friend near the city’s Parkview Terrace Apartments.
Bianchi called the arrests a result of “joint operations and information sharing” across a host of law enforcement agencies.
“These criminals will also learn shortly that our already aggressive posture to prosecuting these cases in court will become heightened,” the prosecutor said.
The garage owner, 44-year-old Robert Hastu, was charged with maintaining premises for illegal activity for being paid to let the crew crack the safe on his property, police said.
O’Keefe said Hastu tried to flee but was tackled by Englewood Police Officer Timothy Barrett. He was being held on $10,000 bail, while the other four were each held on $750,000 bail.
All five men face charges including possession of burglary tools and receiving stolen property.
Morris County has been hit with a string burglaries in wealthy areas and although no burglary charges were filed in those cases, authorities said the investigation was ongoing.
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.
The crew was caught on a security camera breaking into a Chatham Township home earlier this month.
Anyone with information should contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-2900 or Englewood Police Department at 201-568-2711.