Police & Fire

Three Arrested From 'James Bond Gang' For Burglaries In Sparta: Police Urge Residents To Call 9-1-1 If They Spot Suspicious Activities

February 15, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Three members of a Bergen County burglary ring known as the “James Bond Gang” were arrested after they broke into and ransacked a local residence. This criminal enterprise has been targeting high end homes in affluent neighborhoods across the tri-state area for years.
Their brazen acts which include breaking down the front doors of homes and tearing alarm systems off of the wall so they could steal, jewelry, cash and anything of value that can be placed in a pillow case.
As these burglaries increased across the region local law enforcement agencies have banded together sharing updated accurate intelligence along with man-power to help bring down this gang.  The Bergen County Multi-jurisdictional Task Force, headed by Lt. Christopher Stefanacci of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has taken the lead in this effort.
At 6:05 pm, Task Force officials contacted Sparta Township Police Detective Terrence Mulligan to advise that they had obtained information that this gang was preparing to target homes on the west side of our town and were in fact enroute to Sparta, operating a 2012 Chrysler Mini-van bearing Michigan License Plates. Sparta Patrols were deployed in and around certain west side neighborhoods.  Members of the Task Force reported that were also on the way to assist the patrols. 

At 7:40 pm, Officer Joseph Pensado and Det. Keith Hannam observed fresh footprints in the snow going up to the front door of a home located on Greenfield Hill.  The residence appeared unoccupied at the time.  Subsequent investigation revealed that the front door had been forced opened and several rooms had been ransacked. 
Sgt. Jeffrey Mase was positioned on Graphic Blvd when the suspect mini-van passed his location and turned left onto West Mountain Road traveling east.  The sergeant followed the van until it turned right onto Radcliff Drive.  Cpl. Marc Rubino and and Officer Carbery who were posted a mile away were requested by the sergeant as he was preparing to conduct a high risk stop on the vehicle. 
The mini -van had turned around and now was approaching the sergeant’s patrol car.  The sergeant stopped his vehicle blocking the mini-van’s path; the other two patrol vehicles arrived on scene and boxed the van in. Three occupants were removed from the van at gunpoint.
Arrested at the scene were; the driver, 30-year-old Englewood resident Leevan Lawrence, 29-year-old Courry Rice of Hackensack and the alleged reputed leader of the “James Bond Gang” 31-year-old Teaneck resident, Jerry Montgomery.
Members of the task force also on scene included police officers and detectives from the following agencies; Englewood Cliffs, River Edge, Ramsey, Mahwah, Paramus, Harrison NY, Englewood, Teaneck Police Departments and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
Detectives from the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff Officers from the Sussex County Sheriff’s Department assisted at the scene and through out the night as the scene was processed.
A tan colored pillow case containing assorted pieces of jewelry that were later determined to be proceeds from the burglary at Greenfield Hill had been tossed into the woods by the defendants as police closed in, was recovered by members of the task force as they canvassed the area.
All three defendants were transported to the Sparta Police Department where they were processed.  All three were charged with; Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Burglary and Theft of Movable Property.  Montgomery who resisted arrest at the scene was additionally charged.
All three are currently lodged in the Sussex County Jail. Bail for Lawrence has been set at $100,000.00 no 10 % option and Rice’s bail is $200,000.00 no 10% option.  Montgomery who was currently free on $100,000.00 bail following his arrest in August of 2011 by Sparta Police after he committed burglaries in both Jefferson and Sparta had his current bail revoked and new bail of $500,000.00 no 10% option has been set
Despite this arrest and the current efforts of local Law Enforcement, the criminal enterprise known as the “James Bond Gang” remains intact, active and proficiently dangerous.  The Sparta Police Department urges all our citizens to remain vigilant and report immediately, any suspicious behavior they may observe, by dialing 9-1-1.   This current incident remains under investigation and additional charges are pending.


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