Feds: NJ men robbed more than 50 homes, targeting Asian families
Five New Jersey men and three from Pennsylvania have been accused of a massive burglary ring that targeted families of Asian descent, robbing more than 50 homes in several states over a more than two-year span.
Kevin Jackson, of Rahway, Newark residents Kevin Burton and Thomas Rodgers, and Irvington residents Randi Barr and Terrance Black are each charged with conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced Tuesday.
Three Pennsylvania residents also were netted in the investigation and face the same federal charge: Rabine Armour, of Easton; James Hurt, of Tobyhanna; and Sherman Glasco, of Bethlehem.
The group targeted business owners, typically of Asian family-owned restaurants, according to a criminal complaint, which said about $500,000 in cash was stolen in one burglary alone.
First, victims’ cars were broken into at their respective places of business and makeshift trackers were placed on the vehicles by the burglars, according to authorities, to help the crew scout out their locations before each burglary. In each heist, the men sought money, jewelry and guns, prosecutors said.
Armour, Burton, and Jackson were arrested in March 2019 while breaking into a home in Old Bridge, while Barr was arrested a couple of weeks later during a break-in in Hazlet, according to federal prosecutors.
Searches of Armour’s and Burton’s homes alone revealed tens of thousands of dollars in both U.S. currency and currency from Asian countries, as well as jewelry, family heirlooms and other valuables previously reported stolen by victims.
Law enforcement also recovered notes from the accused burglars’ vehicles, listing home addresses with “derogatory, descriptive terms” referring to the ethnicity of their various targets.
Glasco, Hurt, Black, and Rodgers were then linked to the burglary ring through cell phone messages and data.
“These defendants allegedly carried out a brazen conspiracy based on stereotype and opportunity,” FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge George Crouch Jr. said in a written statement.
“It is fitting that these arrests come at a time when society is raising awareness regarding crimes against our Asian-American citizens,” he continued.
In addition to federal agents, the investigation involved the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office and local police in Kenilworth, South Plainfield, Edison, Eatontown, Hazlet, Sayreville, Old Bridge and Spotswood — as well as officers in Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware.