The Mendham Township Police don’t take threats to the safety and security of their residents lightly.
When the report came in on a burglary on Roxiticus Road and the threat of the so-called James Bond Gang reared its head over the course of the last few months, Police Chief Steve Crawford said he was losing sleep over it.
But Crawford was always confident they would make an arrest.
“If you burglarize a home in Mendham Township, it is not a matter of if you are going to get caught, but when,” Crawford said.
The when for the Roxiticus Road burglary was Nov. 16 when Anthony Troyano Jr. of Hopatcong was arrested.
“Det. Dan Taquinto led our investigation,” Lt. Vito Abrusci said. “There were multiple agencies involved, including the Morris County Sheriff’s Department, the prosecutor’s office, Bedminster, Hopatcong, Morris Township and detectives from the New York City Police Department.”
According to Abrusci, there were no short cuts.
“This is one of those investigations that was hard work and good old fashioned police work,” Abrusci said.
Crawford said that beyond the arrest of Troyano there was the arrest of some members of the misnamed James Bond Gang but residents need to still be on their guard.
“There were five arrests to the so-called James Bond crew their leader was bailed out at $750,000,” Crawford said. “But the gang is operating with what is believed to be upwards of 90 actors.”
Abrusci said the James Bond Gang has expanded its vehicle use to minivans and not just high-end vehicles.
Crawford believes the hard work is paying off.
“It is like attacking the drug problem,” Crawford said. “It doesn’t stop when you make one arrest. You chip away and chip away until you break down the hierarchy.”
Crawford said the formula is simple, and requires the help of the residents.
“We make the risk far greater than the reward,” Crawford said. “If the residents are taking care of their valuables like we asked them to then there is no reward. But there is still high risk. You will never arrest them all, but they will go somewhere else.”
Troyano has been released on bail, and according to Abrusci, his department has been coordination with a bordering Somerset town that was hit just over the town line with a similar modus operandi.
“Our residents witnessed a suspicious vehicle driving slowly up and down the road so we have assisted in getting that information,” Abrusci said. “And we had what appears to be an attempted burglary on the west side of town.”
Abrusci said police are also looking for who they believe to be an accomplice of Troyano and want residents to pick up the phone if they see something suspicious.
“It is imperative for our residents to continue to report suspicious vehicles throughout the day,” Abrusci said. “If you see someone unattended or if you are confronted with an odd story as to why they are at your house call us and try to get description of the vehicle.”