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Accused Englewood brother/sister crime team facing different fates

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: The female half of an accused brother/sister crime team from Englewood could receive probation, but her younger sibling is likely looking at much more serious consequences — even if he’s convicted of only some of the charges against him.

Ariel Holmes also would also have to pay $300 in restitution to the victims under a plea deal, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Edward Burke said during their arraignments in Hackensack yesterday.

On the other hand, Richard Holmes — who turns 20 in ten days — faces 19 charges in an indictment that accuses him of robbery, theft, burglary and trafficking in stolen goods, among other charges.

Defense attorney David Liberman, who is representing him, nonetheless told Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian yesterday that Holmes would like to apply for drug court.

Jerjian, in turn, scheduled a Sept. 30 status conference while the lawyer explores what he admitted was an unlikely possibility.

Englewood police said Richard Holmes deliberately targeted minorities because he thought they wouldn’t report being mugged.

He evaded capture for two months before calling his former school resource officer and turning himself in to Englewood police a little over a year ago.

Holmes was wanted for snatching jewelry from people on the street in and around the city’s central business district, breaking into houses and selling the proceeds from both.

The victims included a mother who had a $700 chain yanked from her neck while walking with her three children — ages 3, 5 and four months – and a 70-year-old grandfather who lost a 18K gold necklace valued at nearly $2,000 after getting punched and knocked to the ground.

Many of the victims were Hispanic, leading investigators to believe Holmes targeted them because the didn’t think they’d report the crimes, Englewood Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.

Englewood Detective Barry Miller already was eyeing Holmes for an unrelated theft that led to the recovery of several hundred dollars worth of pawned jewelry. At the same time, Englewood Detective Santiago Incle had pegged him for a burglary and theft on the city’s west side that involved a laptop and jewelry.

Investigators discovered that some of the goods were sold at an Englewood jewelry store, Golden Chocolate, that the city shut down after the owner admitting buying hot merchandise without checking identification or recording the transactions.

Police almost had Holmes a week before he turned himself in, but he bolted and lost them near the Teaneck Armory, O’Keefe said.

He remains held on $100,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail — with charges that also include five counts of child endangerment — while Ariel Holmes remains free.

STORY / PHOTO: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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