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Accused Serial Burglars Hit with 96 Charges for Alleged Spree

Darius Gittens and Geoffrey Petit stole more than $2 million worth of items from 25 upscale homes in Burlington and Camden counties, including Moorestown, according to authorities.

A well-organized pair of alleged serial burglars who stole more than $2 million worth of items from upscale homes across South Jersey, including Moorestown, have been indicted on 96 counts by a Burlington County grand jury, according to authorities.

The grand jury returned the indictments against Darius H. Gittens, 54, and Geoffrey V. Petit, 48, both of Medford, last week, according to a release from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Gittens and Petit burglarized 25 homes between October 2011 and August 2012, according to investigators, hitting homes in Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Evesham, Medford, Haddonfield and Voorhees. Police said the pair targeted secluded homes in upscale neighborhoods, often near a golf course or wooded lot where there were minimal views from surrounding properties.

Moorestown Police Sgt. Lee Lieber said Gittens and Petit were responsible for the following burglaries and attempted burglaries in town:

  • Burglary/theft, 800 block of Golf View Road — 10/31/2011
  • Attempted burglary, 300 block of Park Drive — 11/2/2011
  •  — 11/2/2011
  •  — 11/27/2011
  •  — 11/28/2011
  •  — 12/10/2011
  •  — 12/30/2011
  • Attempted burglary, unit block of Landing Court — 2/11/2012

The burglars often broke in, when no one was home, by smashing a rear sliding door and, once inside, cut phone and alarm wires and monitored emergency communications using a police radio, according to authorities.

Gittens and Petit are accused of setaling more than $2 million worth of jewelry, watches, furs, coins, crystal, silverware, handbags, guns and electronics over their 10-month burglary spree.

A number of law enforcements agencies formed a task force to investigate the crimes, and a break came after DNA from one of the defendants was found on a flashlight left behind during one of the Moorestown burglaries. Authorities put the suspects under surveillance and, after analyzing more than 9,000 phone calls and text messages, arrested Gittens and Petit in September. 

More than 500 stolen items were recovered—some of them buried in one of the defendant’s yards and others hidden in an abandoned building in Philadelphia, authorities said.

“This was a very complex investigation,” Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said. “The tenacity and perseverance shown by the investigators who worked this case was tremendous. It was outstanding police work and the residents in the towns where these burglaries occurred should feel thankful that these law enforcement officials are on the job.”

Both defendants were released after posting bail, which was set at $150,000 for Gittens and $230,000 for Petit. An arraignment will be scheduled soon in Burlington County Superior Court.

An indictment, in which a grand jury considers the evidence in the case, is a determination that there is enough evidence to move forward with the prosecution.

Gittens was indicted on:

  • three counts of Theft by Unlawful Taking (second degree)
  • Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons - Pellet Gun (second degree)
  • Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons - .357 Revolver (second degree)
  • Burglary (second degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of A Weapon (second degree)
  • 22 counts of Burglary (third degree)
  • 16 counts of Theft By Unlawful Taking (third degree)
  • nine counts of Conspiracy (third degree)
  • Criminal Attempt Burglary (third degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of A Weapon (third degree)
  • 24 counts of Criminal Mischief (fourth degree)
  • nine counts of Possession of Radio to Intercept Emergency Communications While Attempting to Commit A Crime (fourth degree)
  • Criminal Attempt Burglary (fourth degree)
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon - Stun Gun (fourth degree)
  • and Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons - Stun Gun (fourth degree)

Petit was indicted on:

  • Theft By Unlawful Taking (second degree)
  • nine counts of Conspiracy (third degree)
  • nine counts of Burglary (third degree)
  • five counts of Theft By Unlawful Taking (third degree)
  • nine counts of Possession of Radio to Intercept Emergency Communications While Attempting to Commit A Crime (fourth degree)
  • seven counts of Criminal Mischief (fourth degree)
  • Impersonating a Public Servant or Law Enforcement Officer (fourth degree)
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon - Stun Gun (fourth degree)
  • and Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons - Stun Gun (fourth degree)

Information provided by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office. An arrest does not indicate a conviction.

Pete June 13, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Why would a judge let these guys out on bail? I’ll bet that they skip town……..
Geoffrey Petit June 18, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Remember a person is "Not Guilty" before he is convicted. I was accused of this crime because of my association of Darius Gittens. The so called hero's who crack the case never found one item in my home and no DNA evidence was ever linked to me. Darius Gittens has admitted to being the only one who did all the burglaries that I am accused of. The 500 items were all pulled from his home not mine. If you see the bail amount you can see the cops were very mad that I would not admit to what they were accusing me of. Everyone will see at the trial that I am "Not Guilty" of these crimes. The last thing I can say be very careful of your friends because the police might be looking at them and if they see you at there house they will accuse you of a crime through pure association.

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