Serial burglar charged with 6 more smash-and-grabs in Morris County, NJ
A man with an "extensive" criminal history including dozens of burglaries throughout New Jersey is accused of committing half a dozen more in Morris County.
Former Newark resident Kenneth Cook, 48, was arrested Monday. He is charged with 28 third and fourth-degree counts related to burglary and unlawful taking.
The Morris County Prosecutor's Office said Cook carried out the recent smash-and-grabs between Nov. 7, 2021, and Jan. 12 of this year.
In each case, Cook is accused of smashing a glass door to get in and making off with cash, cigarettes, lottery tickets, or a combination of the three. Most times he put the stolen goods into a large bag and got away in a dark-colored Acura sedan, according to prosecutors.
Officials said the burglaries took place at gas stations, convenience stores, and a restaurant throughout Dover, Florham Park, Randolph, and Roxbury.
Now living in Allentown, Pennslyvania, Cook has a history of burglaries dating back three decades throughout Union, Essex, Somerset, and Middlesex counties. He pleaded guilty in 1993 to a series of burglaries and received a three-year prison sentence, according to court records.
Then in 2010, Cook and his brother Keith Cook were both nabbed and charged with carrying out 20 separate burglaries over the course of three months. Edison police said the duo netted a total of $5,200 in cash and lottery tickets, NJ.com reported at the time.
An appellate decision shows that Kenneth Cook pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a police pursuit and received a six-year sentence. His vehicle had been identified as taking part in a nearby armed robbery, according to the decision.
The appeal also indicates that Cook started his criminal behavior prior to 1993, citing his "extensive juvenile and adult criminal history." Names of suspects under the age of 18 are not made publicly available.
Cook is currently detained at Bergen County jail awaiting a hearing on Wednesday for similar charges, according to Morris County Prosecutors.