Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced arrests of four individuals who have been charged in a multi-agency investigation for allegedly conspiring as members of a criminal ring responsible for numerous residential burglaries across much of New Jersey.
The participating law enforcement agencies have worked collaboratively to investigate 84 burglaries that were committed from October 2020 through March 2021 in eight counties in New Jersey—Morris, Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Passaic, Monmouth, Middlesex, and Union—as well as lower New York State.
As detailed in the statement of probable cause in the criminal complaints filed against the defendants, the burglaries involved a similar modus operandi and it is suspected that the same burglary ring was involved in each of them.
The perpetrators of the burglaries forced entry through a doorway, usually in the afternoon or early evening, and then 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.
The four individuals who were arrested have been charged by the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau in connection with 16 of those burglaries that occurred in Morris, Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Passaic, and Union Counties.
However, the investigation is ongoing and further charges may be filed in connection with the other burglaries.
Investigators urge anyone who might have relevant information about the defendants or any of the burglaries to call the Division of Criminal Justice confidentially at 866-TIPS-4CJ.
The final defendant to be arrested, Keith Perry, was arrested on Friday, April 30, in North Carolina by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force on a warrant obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice.
He is being held in Union County (N.C.) Jail pending extradition. The other three defendants were arrested in early April in New Jersey and were ordered detained pending trial.
The following four defendants were charged by complaint-warrant with the offenses listed (one count of each offense unless otherwise indicated):
- Keith Perry, 38, of Teaneck: 2nd Degree Conspiracy, 2nd Degree Burglary, 3rd Degree Burglary (15 Counts), 2nd Degree Theft, and 2nd Degree Receiving Stolen Property.
- Perry is charged with 2nd Degree Burglary in connection with a burglary on December 23, 2020, in Englewood, during which he allegedly threatened a homeowner by making a motion with his hand inside his sweatshirt as though he had a gun and saying, “I’ll shoot you.”
- Porsche Brown, 29, of Lodi: 2nd Degree Conspiracy, 3rd Degree Burglary (6 Counts), 3rd Degree Theft, and 3rd Degree Receiving Stolen Property.
- Kay Brown, 23, of Paterson: (no relation to Porsche Brown) 2nd Degree Conspiracy, 3rd Degree Burglary (3 Counts), and 3rd Degree Theft.
- Gregory Lewis, 37, of Teaneck: 2nd Degree Conspiracy and 3rd Degree Burglary.
- After Perry was involved in a car accident in Hackensack, on March 17, investigators obtained a search warrant for the Mercedes-Benz GL 450 he was driving and found proceeds from one of the burglaries in the car. On February 12, Porsche Brown used a pawn shop in Vineland to pawn a significant amount of jewelry that is being investigated as suspected burglary proceeds.
“This is an outstanding example of law enforcement collaboration,” Attorney General Grewal said. “We worked with law enforcement agencies across nearly half of New Jersey to identify and arrest the alleged members of this burglary ring, who sought cash, jewelry, and other valuables in the targeted residences, including homes that were occupied during the break-ins.”
“I commend all of the law enforcement agencies that partnered in this investigation, sharing evidence and working to stop this alleged prolific burglary ring,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The strength of law enforcement in New Jersey is enhanced by our strong collaborative relationships, which enabled us to identify and arrest these defendants.”
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.