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Suspect in fatal New Jersey mall carjacking arrested at Northampton County hotel

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:21:19 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 22 2013 07:20:59 AM CST

Carjacking suspect nabbed

PALMER TWP., Pa. -

Four men have been arrested -- one at a Northampton County hotel -- on charges of murder, conspiracy and other counts in the carjacking death of a man shot in front of his wife outside an upscale mall in northern New Jersey last weekend, authorities said Saturday.

The suspects were identified as 29-year-old Hanif Thompson, of Irvington; 31-year-old Karif Ford, of Newark; 32-year-old Basim Henry, of Newark; and 33-year-old Kevin Roberts, of Newark.

One of the suspects, Basim Henry, was arrested at the Comfort Inn off Route 22 in Palmer Township, according to an employee there. The employee says the FBI took Henry into custody early Saturday morning. The same employee says Henry had been staying at the hotel since Wednesday.

Palmer Township police, who were called to the hotel later Saturday morning for a separate call, said they were unaware an arrest had been made overnight at the hotel until being informed authorities had used a ram to knock in the hotel room door where a suspect had been staying.

Henry and the three other suspects, who were arrested in New Jersey,  are accused in the Dec. 15 carjacking and killing of Dustin Friedland outside The Mall at Short Hills. The 30-year-old lawyer from Hoboken was shot in the head in the mall parking garage after being confronted by two carjackers, authorities said. The assailants drove off in his silver Range Rover, which was found the next morning in Newark, about 10 miles from Short Hills.

The four face charges of murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. They were arrested between late Friday and early Saturday.

The suspects are being held on $2 million bail each but have not yet been formally arraigned. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray attributes the swift arrest to "good old-fashioned police work" and leads from the public.

The carjacking occurred just as Friedland and his wife, Jamie Schare Friedland, were ending a shopping trip. Mourners at Friedland's funeral on Wednesday said he had just opened the door of his SUV for his wife when he was shot.

Friedland had a law degree from Syracuse University and was project manager at his family's heating and air conditioning and heating company.

More than $40,000 was offered for information leading to the arrest of the killers.