SADDLE RIVER, N.J. -- An ex-con who police said they caught with his father after a string of cat burglar-like break-ins in Saddle River and Morris County was sentenced to a plea-bargained five years in state prison on Friday.
Defense attorney Brian Neary called 35-year-old Jerome Shaw Jr. a "youthful offender."
“There comes a time when you have to put the toys of a child away and become an adult,” Neary said.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Vered Adoni noted, in turn, that Shaw has an extensive criminal record dating to his juvenile years, with convictions in North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
Superior Court Judge James J. Guida denied a request from Neary that his client receive credit for time spent in North Carolina on a detainer from New Jersey.
Shaw must serve at least two years of the sentence before he's eligible for parole.
He and Jerome Shaw Sr., 54, were arrested Oct. 21, 2012 in Upper Saddle River after an alert resident noticed their North Carolina truck on the road at 1 a.m.
Responding officers found them wearing black coverall jumpsuits and carrying a list of addresses of homes in Saddle River and Mendham.
Inside the truck, which had North Carolina license plates, police reported finding “a sledgehammer or large mallet, a pipe wrench, pry bars, cutting pliers, plastic zip ties, black gloves, black ski masks, goggles, flashlights, and five small rocks,” an indictment returned in Hackensack says.
Earlier that night, homes were broken into on Warewoods Road, Stoney Ridge Road, High Meadow Road and Eugene Drive in Saddle River and Chapel Road and Stevens Road in Mendham, the indictment says.
The Shaws, who have previous burglary convictions out of Nassau County, were both arrested under similar circumstances in Montgomery County, Md. in 2006.
Jerome Shaw Sr. will be sentenced for his role in the crimes on Jan. 8.
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