'Crime crew' arrested in South Jersey cell phone store burglaries

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3 arrested in South Jersey cell phone burglary spree. Tamala Edwards reports during Action News Mornings on November 20, 2018.

Three men suspected in a South Jersey cell phone burglary spree have been arrested.

"In October of this year, a dozen South Jersey towns were hit by an organized Philadelphia crime crew who were targeting cell phone stores, stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. The trio would have one member distract the store employees while the others utilized cutting tools to remove security measures on the high-end cell phones," police said in a statement.

On Sunday, an officer walking in the Marlton Specialty Shops on North Route 73 saw the three men exiting the Sprint Store.

When the officer began to approach them, they took off running. The officer gave chase on foot.

Police say the men fled behind the building where a getaway car was waiting.

Other officers who were patrolling began responding to the area and saw the vehicle fleeing the parking lot.

When the officers attempted to stop the vehicle, police say the driver refused to stop and continued to drive recklessly while disobeying the officers' signal to pull over.

For safety reasons, the officers stopped pursuing the vehicle.

A short time later, the vehicle was involved in a collision on NJ Route 73 N and Church Road in Mt. Laurel. All three suspects fled the crash on foot into a wooded area.

A police K-9 led officers to the suspects who were hiding in heavy brush near the New Jersey Turnpike.

Police say the suspects once again refused to comply with officers' orders and fled across the busy turnpike.

Evesham officers gave chase and arrested the men in a wooded area prior to them reaching a nearby residential neighborhood.

Police say the men stole approximately $7,000 worth of merchandise from the Sprint Store.

Daniel Freeman, Dwayne Freeman and James Burton, all from Philadelphia, are now facing charges, including shoplifting, eluding, and criminal mischief.
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