YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A joint investigation headed by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and involving Englewood and Teaneck police and several other law enforcement agencies led to the arrests last week of three accused burglars with reputed ties to the infamous James Bond Gang and a Queens man accused of buying jewelry they took in more than 30 break-ins in three counties.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT broke the story last week of the arrests in Queens of three Teaneck men — Jamelle Singletary, 26, and Lawal Erskine and Jamal Sermon, both 30 (left to right, above) — as they were fencing the goods in Queens.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli elaborated tonight, while announcing the additional arrest of the alleged fence, David Tadjiev, 38, of Astoria.
The burglars operated much the same way as their Bond Gang predecessors — only without a hi-tech rigged car that gave the original crew its name.
“For instance, the burglars generally targeted residences located in affluent neighborhoods,” Molinelli said. “The residences were likely selected by their size, the presence of expensive vehicles in the driveway, and the appearance of the residence being unoccupied at the time of the burglary.
“The residences were generally attacked in the early evening hours during the middle of the week, and were often located in or adjacent to a cul-de-sac,” he said. “Entry to the residences was often gained by forcing open the front doors.
“Once inside the residence, the burglars proceeded to the master bedrooms and removed jewelry, cash, and other property. In most of the incidents, pillow cases were taken from the residences and likely used to transport the property,” the prosecutor said.
Molinelli’s Special Investigations Squad zeroed in on the defendants after launching an investigation in February into a series of local burglaries.
The scope quickly expanded as similar break-ins were reported in Morris and Somerset, he said.
“As detectives continued to develop additional information about these crimes, they shared this information with local law enforcement,” Molinelli said. “The investigation further revealed that the burglars would often take the stolen property to a “fence” in New York City who paid large amounts of money in exchange for the stolen proceeds.”
That man was Tadjiev, who operates a Manhattan Diamond District jewelry business, he said.
Harrison police already were investigating Tadjiev in connection with receiving stolen property, the prosecutor said.
They teamed up with Molinelli’s detectives to concentrate on him — which raised Singletary as a suspect.
He was already known to authorities, having received probation for his role in the October 2012 theft of a 600-pound safe from Connecticut ( SEE: Judge nixes Englewood burglar’s plea withdrawal ).
Sermon, meanwhile, was one of 10 people charged in an indictment returned by a grand jury in Hackensack last month with using an Englewood flophouse as a gambling den, recording studio and marijuana stash house ( SEE: Indictment names 10 in Englewood gambling den bust ).
Last Thursday, while tracking him, investigators saw Singletary get into a car with Erskine and Sermon and head from Teaneck to Someset County, where they committed two burglaries in Warren and Bridgewater, Molinelli said.
“Task force members continued to track the individuals’ vehicle as it traveled back up into Bergen County and stopped in a housing development in Englewood,” he said.
As they watched, items stolen during the break-ins were thrown into a trash bin, the prosecutor said.
The three re-emerged a short time later and drove to Queens for a meeting with Tadjiev at his home, he said.
They brought in jewelry stolen in Somerset — and detectives moved in, Molinelli said.
Search warrants at Tadjiev’s home, the dumpster and the Teaneck defendants’ homes were executed.
A handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets was found at Sermon’s home, while cocaine packaged for distribution was recovered at Singletary’s, Molinelli said.
“Detectives also recovered a safe and other personal property and documents which are believed to have been stolen during a previous residential burglary that is still under investigation,” he said.
All four men remained in custody in Westchester County pending extradition to New Jersey.
Charges include various counts of burglary, along with stolen property, drug and weapons offenses.
Molinelli thanked several law enforcement agencies for their work on the case:
Harrison (New York) Police Department
Westchester County (New York) District Attorney’s Office
Bergen County Sheriff’s Office – Bureau of Criminal Investigations
Bergen County Sheriff’s Office – K-9 Division
Morris County Prosecutor’s Office
Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office
Randolph Township Police Department
Chester Township Police Department
Warren Township Police Department
Bridgewater Police Department
Englewood Police Department
Teaneck Police Department
Saddle River Police Department
Montvale Police Department
Englewood Cliffs Police Department
Tenafly Police Department
Ho-Ho-Kus Police Department
Fort Lee Police Department
Closter Police Department
Fair Lawn Police Department
Paramus Police Department
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR
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