James Bond Gang Similarities Seen in Recent Spree
Current band of thieves burglarizing North Jersey homes follow same pattern as infamous group.
They've been caught on a home security video wearing masks breaking into a Chatham residence and an apparent getaway car—a silver Porsche with New York license plates—was spotted in Parsippany last week.
But the band of thieves who are believed to be responsible for numerous high-end residential burglaries throughout North Jersey, including in Morris and Somerset counties, continue to elude authorities.
The burglary ring shares similar characteristics to the James Bond Gang, the band of thieves known for their exotic getaway cars and sophisticated style. However, the current thieves are not believed to be part of the infamous group.
Authorities from several municipalities where the thieves have struck met this week with members of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office to discuss tactics to halt the burglary string.
"This is much bigger than I think any of us knew," Mendham Borough Police Chief Pat Libertino said. "The prosecutor sent two investigators and an assistant prosecutor to talk to us, so they are serious about this."
Burglaries have been reported in Chatham, Harding, Mendham Borough, Morris Township, Parsippany and Randolph as well as in Somerset County in Bridgewater, Warren and the Somerset Hills area.
Four thieves wearing masks were seen on video surveillance forcing open the front door of Chatham Township home earlier this month while the residents were away. The burglars disabled the home's security system and made off with jewelry and an expensive pocketbook, according to CBS2.
A silver Porsche with New York license plates was seen last Friday near a Parsippany residential burglary where $3,000 worth of electronics and jewelry were stolen.
"We have found similarities between this incident and burglaries in other parts of the region," Parsippany Police Chief Anthony DeZenzo said.
Mendham Borough Police warned residents earlier this month to lock their doors after a series of burglaries occurred in that community.
Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine issued a warning of his own to residents after two recent residential burglaries in the northern Somerset County community.
"The fact is that since the beginning of the year there has been a significant increase in reported burglaries throughout Morris and Somerset counties," Valentine said.
Valentine warned residents of the community's close proximity to interstates 287 and 78, making nearby homes an easy target for the thieves to get a quick getaway.
Morris Township Capt. Rich Ferrone said burglaries likely the work of the same gang occurred along the I-287 corridor in that community this summer.
The gang was likely also responsible for up to eight of Harding's 12 burglaries this year, according to the Observer~Tribune.
Several members of the original James Bond Gang with ties to Teaneck and Englewood were nabbed last year following a high-speed chase in Sparta.
Shutting down the current gang's operation will take time, Mendham Borough's police chief said.
"In my opinion," Libertino said, "I expect to see things get worse before they get better."