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4 arrests made in fatal New Jersey mall carjacking

By Elizabeth Landers, CNN
updated 1:20 PM EST, Sat December 21, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The incident happened at a mall
  • The victim was an attorney
  • His wife was unharmed

(CNN) -- Authorities in New Jersey have arrested four men in connection to a fatal carjacking earlier this month.

Hanif Thompson, Karif Ford, Basim Henry, and Kevin Roberts were arrested between Friday night and early Saturday morning and are charged with murder and felony murder. They also face charges of carjacking, conspiracy to commit carjacking, possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, according to the prosecutor's office.

The arrests were made in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the men are between the ages of 29 and 33, Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said.

Local authorities worked alongside the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service to track down the men, who are accused of shooting and killing a young attorney on December 15.

Murray applauded the public's assistance in the case.

"Many of the leads we received in this case came from our four most urban towns," said Murray. "It really was old-fashioned police work combined with technology."

The incident occurred on a parking deck of The Mall at Short Hills, police said, when attorney Dustin Friedland was walking with his wife to their 2012 silver Range Rover.

Friedland was walking behind the vehicle after opening his wife's door and helping her get in when he was confronted, authorities said.

A struggle ensued, authorities believe, and shots were fired.

His wife heard the struggle and got out of the SUV, and the two attackers got in the vehicle and drove off. She was not injured.

Friedland was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The crime appears to have been motivated by the desire for that particular type of vehicle, Murray said.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman added, "You have the right to be safe and the expectation that you should be safe in this county and the state of New Jersey and in particular you shouldn't have to worry that wherever you go...that somebody will put a gun to your head and take your car."

All four men are currently being held at the Essex County Jail. If found guilty, the men could face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Bail has been set at $2 million for each defendant.

CNN's Lateef Mungin contributed to this report.

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