Serial burglar charged with 6 more robberies in Morris County, NJ
A man with an “extensive” criminal history, including dozens of burglaries throughout New Jersey, is accused of committing half a dozen more in Morris County.
Former Newark resident Kenneth Cook, 48, was arrested on Monday. He is charged with 28 third- and fourth-degree counts related to burglary and unlawful taking.
The Morris County District Attorney’s Office said Cook performed the recent smash-and-grabs between Nov. 7, 2021 and Jan. 12 of this year.
In each case, Cook is accused of breaking a glass door to get in and fleeing with cash, cigarettes, lottery tickets or a combination of the three. Most of the time, he put the stolen goods in a large bag and fled in a dark-colored Acura sedan, prosecutors say.
Officials said the break-ins took place at gas stations, convenience stores and a restaurant in Dover, Florham Park, Randolph and Roxbury.
Now living in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Cook has a history of burglaries dating back three decades in Union, Essex, Somerset and Middlesex counties. He pleaded guilty in 1993 to a series of burglaries and was sentenced to three years in prison, according to court records.
Then, in 2010, Cook and his brother Keith Cook were both arrested and charged with committing 20 separate burglaries in three months. Edison police say the duo brought in a total of $5,200 in cash and lottery tickets, NJ.com reported at the time.
A appeal decision shows that Kenneth Cook pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a police pursuit and received a six-year sentence. His vehicle had been identified as participating in a nearby armed robbery, according to the ruling.
The appeal also states that Cook began his criminal behavior before 1993, citing his “extensive juvenile and adult criminal history”. The names of suspects under the age of 18 are not made public.
Cook is currently being held in the Bergen County Jail pending a hearing Wednesday on similar charges, according to Morris County prosecutors.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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