Guilty: 127 counts related to burglaries earn Becket man 12 years
PITTSFIELD >> He was done in by a luggage tag and his brother's braggadocio.
A Becket man is set to be sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to 127 counts related to a rash of burglaries spanning Berkshire and Hampshire counties.
James "Jamie" Tarjick Jr., 44, admitted to stealing scores of items, including computers, electronics, purses, wallets, power tools and landscaping equipment.
Tarjick and his brother Aaron, who both were convicted in 1999 of another large crime spree, came to the attention of authorities in April 2012 during the investigation into a series of unsolved thefts.
The ID tag on a piece of luggage discovered on the westbound side of Route 116 connected the bag to its owner, who had reported it stolen from his Amherst home.
That led authorities to suspect there may be a connection between the thefts and the Berkshires.
In September 2013, Jamie Tarjick was interviewed by Amherst Police responding to a report of suspicious activity in a neighborhood. He was not arrested at the time, but police took interest after learning he was a Berkshire County resident.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano said the third piece of information that launched the larger investigation came indirectly from Aaron Tarjick himself.
Yorlano said a defendant in a separate criminal case reported he had heard Aaron Tarjick boasting he had been committing break-ins while wearing a court-ordered GPS monitoring device.
He was wearing the monitor while on pretrial probation in a sexual assault case between Aug. 23, 2010, and June 12, 2012. He is currently serving a 19- to 25-year prison sentence after being convicted in June 2012 of three counts of forcible rape of a child under 14.
Authorities used the data to track Aaron Tarjick's whereabouts during the times and at the places where break-ins and burglaries had occurred.
Investigators then used data from Jamie Tarjick's cellphone to track his whereabouts at those times and places and found both men's information corresponded with thefts in both Berkshire and Hampshire counties.
Jamie Tarjick admitted to breaking into cars, homes, apartments, garages and sheds between October 2010 and September 2013.
Some residents were home during the burglaries. In some cases, vehicles were found unlocked; other times, Tarjick smashed the windows to gain entry.
The thefts took place in several different cities and towns including Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Amherst, Easthampton and Northampton.
The investigation culminated in a January 2015 raid of Tarjick's home and that of his parents, James Tarjick Sr. and Nancy Tarjick. Items reported stolen were found at both locations, prosecutors said.
Among the larger and more unusual items recovered were televisions, a stove, a pair of kayaks, mountain bikes, a dishwasher, automotive rims, a stove and a 1971 Super Bowl ring.
The elder Tarjicks have open Superior Court cases on multiple counts of receiving stolen property in connection with the investigation.
Although Jamie Tarjick entered his pleas Friday before Berkshire Superior Court Judge John Agostini, his sentence will not be imposed until after a Nov. 7 status hearing. He remains in custody in Hampshire County pending the imposition of his sentence.
In all, Tarjick pleaded guilty to four counts of receiving stolen property over $250; 28 counts of burglary; 11 counts of breaking and entering into a building in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony; 35 counts of larceny over $250; 26 counts of breaking and entering into a vehicle in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony; 16 counts of larceny under $250; five counts of larceny from a building and two counts of breaking and entering into a building during the daytime with the intent to commit a felony.
Several charges in Tarjick's Berkshire case are connected to a specific break-in allegedly involving his brother and another co-defendant. Those charges will be taken up at a later date.
Aaron Tarjick faces similar charges to those of his brother and is scheduled to go to trial next week.
This is not the first time the brothers have been accused of participating in an elaborate burglary scheme.
In 1999, both pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including armed and masked robbery, breaking and entering and receiving stolen property for crimes that spanned a three year period beginning in 1996.
A temporary task force made up of various police agencies from the county investigated what they said was a large-scale stolen property ring headed by Jamie Tarjick that included his brother and several others.
Those cases involved property worth close to $100,000, including a Chevrolet Suburban, thousands of dollars worth of car tires and electronics, police said at the time. Both brothers worked for the family's security company, which they used to facilitate their crimes, investigators said.
Jamie Tarjick was sentenced to five to seven years in prison and his brother received a four- to six-year sentence.
The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Amherst, Hadley, Northampton, Hatfield and Easthampton Police Departments, Deputies from the Berkshire County Sheriff's Department and State Police Detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
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