NEW JERSEY – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck Thursday announced the indictment of a Bergen County man who is charged with leading a criminal ring responsible for numerous residential burglaries across much of New Jersey.
The Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau obtained a state grand jury indictment on Sept. 29, charging Keith Perry, 38, of Teaneck with first-degree promoting organized street crime, second-degree conspiracy, second-degree burglary with a weapon, 16 additional counts of third-degree burglary, second-degree receiving stolen property, and second-degree theft by unlawful taking, Bruck said.
Perry was arrested in April 2021 in a far-reaching investigation in which numerous law enforcement agencies collaborated to investigate 84 burglaries committed from October 2020 through March 2021 in nine counties in New Jersey—Morris, Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Hunterdon, Union, Passaic, Monmouth, and Middlesex—as well as lower New York State, Bruck said.
Two ring members who were charged with Perry in April—Porsche Brown, 29, of Lodi, N.J., and Kay Brown, 23, of Paterson, N.J. (no relation to each other)—pleaded guilty on July 13 to third-degree burglary and are awaiting sentencing, Bruck said.
As detailed in the statement of probable cause in the criminal complaints filed in April, the burglaries involved a similar modus operandi and it is suspected that the same burglary ring was involved in each. The perpetrators forced entry through a doorway, usually in the afternoon or early evening, and stole cash, jewelry, and other valuables from the master bedroom and/or other areas of the residence. Well over half a million dollars in cash, jewelry, and other valuables were stolen in total in the 84 burglaries.
Perry is charged specifically in connection with 17 burglaries that occurred in Morris, Bergen, Essex, Somerset, Hunterdon, and Union Counties. In connection with the charge of burglary with a weapon, it is alleged that, during a burglary in Englewood on Dec. 23, 2020, the homeowner confronted Perry, who made a motion inside his sweatshirt as though he had a gun and said, “I’ll shoot you.”
The multi-agency investigation was led by the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, Verona Police Department, New Milford Police Department, and Teaneck Police Department, assisted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, and 40 additional municipal police departments.
“Thanks to the collaborative work of dozens of law enforcement agencies, we stopped this prolific burglary ring and its alleged leader,” Bruck said. “Day in and day out, law enforcement in New Jersey demonstrates the power of working together cooperatively to solve crimes and keep our residents safe.”
“Every agency involved with this investigation understood that it was paramount that we identify and apprehend the members of this ring, because their willingness to commit these crimes while homeowners were present demonstrated that they were prepared to engage in confrontation, which could easily have escalated into violence,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “This investigation is an example of how the New Jersey law enforcement community can quickly band together and coordinate across multiple jurisdictions to dismantle a dangerous burglary ring.”
Perry was arrested on April 30, 2021 in North Carolina by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force on a warrant obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice. He was extradited to New Jersey and is being detained pending trial in the Morris County Correctional Facility.
The first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.