2 Medford men indicted in $2M burglary spree

Geoffrey V.Petit
Geoffrey V.Petit
Posted: June 14, 2013

Two men from Medford were indicted last week for a $2 million burglary spree that targeted two dozen houses in South Jersey over a 10-month period, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office announced Wednesday.

Darius H. Gittens, 54, of Skeet Road, and Geoffrey V. Petit, 48, of Woodland Avenue, are accused of beginning the rash of burglaries in October 2011. The spree lasted through August 2012.

Gittens and Petit took more than $2 million in jewelry, firearms, electronics, and other high-value luxury goods, such as furs and silverware.

Authorities said Gittens and Petit would cut the phone lines and alarm wires at the houses. Several houses were accessed by shattering a rear door, the Prosecutor's Office said.

The homes, in Burlington County's Evesham, Medford, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel Townships and the Camden County towns of Haddonfield and Voorhees, "were in upscale neighborhoods, near a golf course or wooded lot with minimal views, and secluded from neighboring properties," according to a release from the Prosecutor's Office.

Gittens and Petit also used a police radio, the Prosecutor's Office said, to listen for news of their possible discovery.

The duo would burglarize the houses when no one was home, a spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office said.

"They would study the patterns," spokesman Joel Bewley said of the residents. "In one case, they were frightened away by a barking dog."

One of the accused burglars left a flashlight behind at a burglarized home, the Prosecutor's Office said, which was the break in the case, as DNA on the flashlight matched a record in the system.

That gave police probable cause to examine phone calls and text messages, Bewley said.

Gittens and Petit were arrested Sept. 5. Police were able to recover more than 500 of the stolen items, the Prosecutor's Office said, including some that were in an abandoned Philadelphia building and others buried in the yards of one of the men's homes.

Both men were released after posting bail. An arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

Gittens was indicted on 22 counts of burglary, 16 counts of theft by unlawful taking, weapons violations, and related charges. Petit was indicted on nine counts of burglary, nine counts of theft by unlawful taking, weapons violations, and related charges. Both were also charged with "possession of a radio to intercept emergency communications while attempting to commit a crime."

The total of 96 counts leaves each facing up to several decades in prison.

Contact Jonathan Lai at 856-779-3220, jlai@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @elaijuh.

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