Band of brazen burglars busted

More than 40 law enforcement agencies collaborated in the investigation that led to the indictment of a Teaneck ex-con who is charged with leading a criminal ring responsible for no fewer than 84 broad-daylight residential burglaries across much of New Jersey and Rockland County, NY.

A state grand jury indicted Keith Perry, 38, of Teaneck, for 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.

Gregory Lewis, age 38, of Teaneck was also charged in connection with a number of burglaries connected to Perry’s gang but he was not mentioned in a statement issued announcing the latest indictment.

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 state Attorney General Andrew J. 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 Lyndsay V. Ruotolo, director 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 Verona Police Chief Christopher Kiernan, who applauded Detective TJ Conroy and Detective Lieutenant Timothy Banta, who stuck with the case from 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,” said Kiernan.

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