Two suspects were recently convicted in Newark federal court on burglary charges.
The suspects allegedly committed several home break-ins along the East Coast, including NJ.
Law enforcement was able to connect the suspects to the thefts by tracking the cell phone records of one of the suspects, a 43-year-old man from North Bergen, New Jersey.
The other suspect, a 36-year-old male from Brooklyn New York, was also connected to the burglaries.
According to federal prosecutors, the suspects burglarized 27 homes in New Jersey, Georgia, and other states during a crime spree that lasted several years. The suspects reportedly stole $3.4 million in cash, jewelry, watches and other items during the thefts.
The suspects allegedly targeted high-income residences in wealthy areas, including Paramus. The suspects reportedly cut phone lines and disabled home alarm systems before committing the burglaries.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, a Bergen County NJ task force, and local police departments, worked together on the investigation. Police officers eventually located the suspects and arrested them.
Authorities found the suspects because one of them always had a personal cell phone on him. The cell phone was a major piece of evidence for prosecutors during the trial because it provided an electronic record of the suspects’ movements when the home burglaries occurred.
Now the suspects are in store for serious prison time after being convicted on several criminal charges, including interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy. Although the trial took three weeks, the jury needed less than two days of deliberations before issuing a guilty verdict.
Before the trial began, four of the suspects’ alleged co-conspirators entered guilty pleas in the case.
When the suspects return to U.S. District Court in Newark NJ in February 2016, they will be officially sentenced. The suspects could be sentenced to up to 10 years in federal prison.
One of the suspects has a prior criminal record. He previously served 10 years in prison for burglarizing the Englewood Cliffs NJ home of former basketball star Patrick Ewing.
For additional information about this case, access the NJ.com article entitled “Undone by Cell Phone, N.J. Ringleader Convicted in $3.4M Burglary Spree.”