FBI: Interstate burglary crew targeted Asian homeowners

(FOX 5 NY illustration from DOJ documents)

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey announced charges Tuesday against eight people who allegedly ran a coordinated, multi-state residential burglary ring that targeted people of Asian descent.

The group gained information on potential victims by burglarizing their cars and, in some cases, placing makeshift tracking in the vehicles, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Once targeted, the homes often were broken into through unsecured, second-floor windows. The burglaries occurred in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware.

The group allegedly targeted business owners, typically of Asian family-owned restaurants. In one burglary, about $500,000 in cash was stolen, according to a criminal complaint.

According to the complaint, authorities used a cellphone dropped by one of the burglars at a home in Newark, Delaware, and surveillance video of a Dodge Durango at a home in Eatontown, New Jersey, several months later to track some of the burglars to a home in Elizabeth, New Jersey. (Scroll down to view the complaint.)

In March 2019, authorities followed three men from the Elizabeth address to a home in Old Bridge and witnessed them break into a home, according to the complaint. Two were arrested after a chase, and the third was arrested the following day. Cellphone records were used to identify other suspects.

Searches of homes and vehicles used by the suspects revealed numerous items stolen from various homes, according to the complaint, along with "derogatory descriptive terms to identify the ethnicity of each of homeowners for the respective residences."

Charges were announced Tuesday against Rabine Armour of Easton, Pennsylvania; Kevin Burton and Thomas Rodgers of Newark, New Jersey; Kevin Jackson of Rahway; James Hurt of Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania; Sherman Glasco of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Randi Barr and Terrance Black, both of Irvington.

They were charged with conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property. Burton also faces a weapons charge and along with a ninth person, Keesha Davis of Elizabeth, was charged with conspiring to tamper with evidence.

All were scheduled to make initial court appearances by videoconference Tuesday. Attorneys listed for them either declined comment or did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.