Over 40 Law Enforcement Agencies Collaborated in the Investigation
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TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced the indictment of a man who is charged with leading a criminal ring responsible for numerous residential burglaries across much of New Jersey.
The Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau obtained a state grand jury indictment yesterday, Sept. 29, charging Keith Perry, 38, of Teaneck, N.J., with the following offenses:
- Promoting Organized Street Crime (1st Degree),
- Conspiracy (2nd Degree),
- Burglary with a Weapon (2nd Degree),
- 16 Additional Counts of Burglary (3rd Degree),
- Receiving Stolen Property (2nd Degree), and
- Theft by Unlawful Taking (2nd Degree).
Perry was arrested in April 2021 in a far-reaching investigation in which numerous law enforcement agencies collaborated to investigate 84 burglaries committed from October 2020 through March 2021 in nine counties in New Jersey—Morris, Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Hunterdon, Union, Passaic, Monmouth, and Middlesex—as well as lower New York State. Two ring members who were charged with Perry in April—Porsche Brown, 29, of Lodi, N.J., and Kay Brown, 23, of Paterson, N.J. (no relation to each other)—pleaded guilty on July 13 to third-degree burglary and are awaiting sentencing.
As detailed in the statement of probable cause in the criminal complaints filed in April, the burglaries involved a similar modus operandi and it is suspected that the same burglary ring was involved in each. The perpetrators forced entry through a doorway, usually in the afternoon or early evening, and stole cash, jewelry, and other valuables from the master bedroom and/or other areas of the residence. Well over half a million dollars in cash, jewelry, and other valuables were stolen in total in the 84 burglaries.
Perry is charged specifically in connection with 17 burglaries that occurred in Morris, Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Hunterdon, and Union Counties. In connection with the charge of burglary with a weapon, it is alleged that, during a burglary in Englewood on Dec. 23, 2020, the homeowner confronted Perry, who made a motion inside his sweatshirt as though he had a gun and said, “I’ll shoot you.”
The multi-agency investigation was led by the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, Verona Police Department, New Milford Police Department, and Teaneck Police Department, assisted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, and the 40 additional municipal police departments listed below.
“Thanks to the collaborative work of dozens of law enforcement agencies, we stopped this prolific burglary ring and its alleged leader,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “Day in and day out, law enforcement in New Jersey demonstrates the power of working together cooperatively to solve crimes and keep our residents safe.”
“I commend all of the law enforcement agencies that partnered to stop this brazen burglary ring, which forced entry into homes in the afternoon and early evening, potentially putting residents in danger,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Instead of local police investigating each burglary in isolation, we had more than 40 law enforcement agencies sharing intelligence and working as a team to eliminate this threat.”
“Every agency involved with this investigation understood that it was paramount that we identify and apprehend the members of this ring, because their willingness to commit these crimes while homeowners were present demonstrated that they were prepared to engage in confrontation, which could easily have escalated into violence,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “This investigation is an example of how the New Jersey law enforcement community can quickly band together and coordinate across multiple jurisdictions to dismantle a dangerous burglary ring.”
“This case highlighted the exceptional partnership shared among law enforcement agencies in New Jersey,” said Chief Christopher Kiernan of the Verona Police Department. “I must applaud Verona Detective TJ Conroy and Detective Lieutenant Timothy Banta who stayed with this case from the day of the Verona burglary in early December 2020, researching an enormous number of cases throughout the state, identifying similarities to Verona’s burglary, and breaking many leads. Their efforts and the teamwork of all of the participating agencies ultimately led to the arrests of individuals responsible for numerous burglaries throughout the state.”
The indictment is posted online at: Perry Indictment
Perry was arrested on April 30, 2021 in North Carolina by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force on a warrant obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice. He was extradited to New Jersey and is being detained pending trial in the Morris County Correctional Facility.
Deputy Attorney General Matthew Lafargue is prosecuting the case for the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Specialized Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Jacqueline Smith, Bureau Chief Erik Daab, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart. Detectives Scott Caponi and Sang Han investigated for the Division of Criminal Justice, under the supervision of Deputy Chief of Detectives Robert Stemmer and Chief of Detectives Weldon Powell. DCJ Detective Shawn Gorlin, who is a member of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, led the fugitive investigation.
Detective Sgt. Brian Kearns, Investigator Erica Benedetti, and Investigator Jessica Butt investigated for the New Jersey State Police.
Detective Thomas J Conroy III was lead detective on the case for the Verona Police Department, under the supervision of Lt. Tim Banta.
The investigation by the New Milford Police Department Detective Bureau was supervised and conducted by Lt. Kevin VanSanders, Detective Sgt. Nelson Perez, Detective Derek Mattessich, Detective Brian Carlino, and Officer Adam Conboy.
Detective Gabriel Santiago was lead detective for the Teaneck Detective Bureau.
Acting Attorney General Bruck thanked the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and all of the participating law enforcement agencies for their invaluable assistance.
In addition to the law enforcement agencies listed above, the following police departments participated in the collaborative investigation: Bedminster Police Department, Berkeley Heights Police Department, Bernardsville Police Department, Boonton Police Department, Bridgewater Police Department, Cedar Grove Police Department, Clarkstown (N.Y.) Police Department, Clinton Township Police Department, Englewood Police Department, Fairview Police Department, Glen Rock Police Department, Hackensack Police Department, Haledon Police Department, Harrington Park Police Department, Holmdel Police Department, Little Falls Police Department, Livingston Police Department, Madison Police Department, Manalapan Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Milburn Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Montclair Police Department, Montville Police Department, North Caldwell Police Department, North Haledon Police Department, Northvale Police Department, Paramus Police Department, Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, Pearl River (N.Y.) Police Department, Randolph Police Department, Tenafly Police Department, Totowa Police Department, Warren Township Police Department, Washington Township Police Department (Bergen County), Watchung Police Department, Wayne Police Department, West Orange Police Department, Woodcliff Lake Police Department, and Wyckoff Police Department.
First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Defense Attorney: Adam M Lustberg, Esq., Hackensack, N.J.