YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli this afternoon confirmed a CLIFFVIEW PILOT report from this morning that two original members of the infamous James Bond Gang — both of whom were on intensive parole despite extensive criminal histories — were among a group of men and a 17-year-old juvenile arrested on burglary-related charges in a takedown this week.
Detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and a task force of officers from local police departments arrested Jeffrey Whitaker, 50, of Teaneck; William “Christopher” Collins, 41, of Hackensack and two 18-year-old Englewood men, Steve Wilson and Davae Harrison, along with the juvenile, following a weeks-long investigation.
The group was assembled under the direction of Molinelli’s chief of detectives, Steven Cucciniello in response to a string of resident burglaries in Teaneck, Englewood and the surrounding area, the prosecutor said this afternoon.
- CVP HAD IT THIS MORNING: Two original members of the infamous James Bond Gang — both of whom were on intensive parole despite extensive criminal histories — were among a group of men arrested on burglary-related charges in a takedown this week, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned. READ MORE….
Following a break-in Sunday in Teaneck, detectives began watching Whitaker – who, like Collins was released into intensive parole supervision in July 2011 after serving only three months of a four-year prison sentence.
All four suspects were with Whitaker as investigators followed his car to an upper Manhattan jewelry store where they sold some of the goods stolen the day before, Molinelli said.
“After the suspects left the store, detectives and NYPD officers spoke with the jewelry store employee and confirmed that he purchased pieces of jewelry from them for cash,” the prosecutor said.
Police stopped the car once it returned to New Jersey, arrested the four and seized the proceeds from the jewelry sale, he said.
Whitaker ( above, left ) Collins ( above, right ), were being held on $500,000 bail each in the Bergen County Jail.
Whitaker is charged with a burglary and theft from Nov. 11 and another break-in from Sunday. He and Collins are also charged with using a juvenile to commit a crime, as well as conspiracy and receiving stolen property.
Harrison ( right, far right ) and Wilson ( second from right ) were being held on $150,000 bail each. Harrison is charged with two counts each of burglary and theft, Wilson with conspiracy and receiving stolen property.
The juvenile was issued a delinquency complaint for related offenses.
( MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BCPO, BCSO and NJDOC )
Participating in the task force, Molinelli said, were:
Englewood Police Department
Dumont Police Department
Mahwah Police Department
Paramus Police Department
Teaneck Police Department
Tenafly Police Department
Englewood Cliffs Police Department
Old Tappan Police Department
Upper Saddle Police Department
Bergen County Sheriff’s Department
Closter Police Department
New Milford Police Department
Fort Lee Police Department
Based in Teaneck and Englewood, the Bong Gang committed hundreds of break-ins in North Jersey and in various other states along the East Coast before being busted by the FBI working in conjunction with the prosecutor’s office and several local police departments.
The crew got its name from a customized BMW getaway car with secret drawers, halogen license-plate lights that blinded police, and rear pipes that could spew oil.
Various members returned to crime following their releases from prison, only to be arrested again.
Records show that both Collins and Whitaker was released into intensive parole supervision in July 2011 after serving only three months of four-year prison sentences.
Detectives watched in January 2009 as Whitaker, already a convicted burglar, cased homes in Teaneck and Englewood before breaking into two Bogota residences and walking out with large amounts of jewelry, Molinelli said at the time.
The investigators moved to cut off his path, but Whitaker threw his car into drive, hitting a police car, before surrendering, the prosecutor told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
In his car, he said, Whitaker had three pairs of gloves, a ski mask, two screwdrivers, and a large amount of stolen jewelry. Detectives who searched the car and Whitaker’s apartment later reported finding pot, drug paraphernalia, and assorted jewelry believed taken in other break-ins.
Task force investigators also watched in October of that year as Collins and another ex-con — “human crime wave” Melvin Collins — cased houses in Teaneck, Leonia, Palisades Park and, finally, the East Hill section of Englewood, where the pair forced open the front door of an unoccupied home on Arch Road, Molinelli said at the time.
Both were arrested after snatching a floor safe and several thousand dollars in cash and bolting out the back door, he said.
Search warrants led to the recovery of the safe, as well as cash, a briefcase and pillow cases stuffed with three jewelry boxes.
- SPECIAL REPORT: David Kirkland was in his mid-20s when he hooked up with Teaneck High School buddy Terence Lawton, who owned a detailing shop in Englewood where he created a car responsible for what became their burglary crew’s nickname. One night, several original crew members were being chased by Emerson police in Hackensack. Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino (then an Emerson officer) told CLIFFVIEW PILOT the rear license plate flipped down, revealing a quartet of halogens that blinded him and his partner as the Beamer sped off. READ MORE ….
- ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: Detectives watched as a convicted burglar cased homes in Teaneck and Englewood before he broke into two Bogota residences. They arrested him after he came out of the second house, cracking a three-town break-in spree, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said. READ MORE….
ALSO SEE: The James Bond Gang
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