Return of NJ’s James Bond Gang? Cops bust 6 in deluxe crime spree
In a blast from the past, prosecutors in Bergen County said they've charged six burglars and drug dealers tied to a crime spree reminiscent of the so-called James Bond Gang heists of the 1980s and '90s.
The James Bond Gang got its name because they targeted high-end neighborhoods in North Jersey and used rental luxury cars, sometimes tricked out with gadgets to elude police in pursuits. The burglars often made off with tens of thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of loot.
Over the years, authorities in North Jersey have used the "Bond" moniker to refer to similar heists regardless of whether the thieves are in any actual gang.
Bergen County prosecutors on Friday revealed that they had been investigating a series of Bond-style burglaries since December across tony neighborhoods in Bergen, Essex, Union, Somerset, Middlesex and Monmouth counties.
The six suspects that Bergen authorities ultimately charged are accused of stealing more than $450,000 in cash and jewelry. The burglars had the same modus operandi: They went to rich areas and targeted homes in cul-de-sacs and dead ends with luxury vehicles in the driveways.
The burglars struck in the early evening hours when the homes were not well lit and the residents were not home.
The burglars would cover the Ring or doorbell cameras and burst through the front doors. Once inside, they'd make their way to the master bedrooms an steal safes, jewelry and cash.
Armed with search warrants on Thursday, a task force of detectives from Bergen, Somerset, Middlesex and Essex counties descended on suspected homes and vehicles in Hackensack, Elmwood Park and East Orange.