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4 arrested in fatal N. Jersey carjacking

They targeted upscale SUV, prosecutor says.

NEWARK, N.J. - Four men have been arrested 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 North Jersey last weekend, authorities said Saturday.

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

They are accused in the Dec. 15 carjacking and killing of Dustin Friedland, 30, outside the Mall at Short Hills. Friedland, of Hoboken, was shot in the head in the 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 late Friday and early Saturday - three of them at home in New Jersey, and Henry by the FBI at a hotel in Easton, Pa.

The four were being held with bail set at $2 million each, but they had not been formally arraigned. It wasn't immediately clear whether they had attorneys.

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

"The sheer senselessness of this case outraged people from Millburn to Newark," Murray said, referring to towns in Essex County, whose borders encompass crime-plagued Newark to the east as well as Millburn, Short Hills, and other affluent suburbs to the west.

Murray said Friedland appeared to have been targeted because he had the type of vehicle the men had been looking for.

The carjacking occurred 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 the SUV for his wife when he was shot.

His wife was unharmed.

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

Investigators believe the four men arrived at the mall in a Chevrolet Suburban. Two left in the Suburban, and two in the Friedlands' SUV, Murray said.

Murray said no weapon, only a projectile, had been recovered.

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