Mocobizscene- The NYPD claims to have thwarted the city’s largest robbery scheme involving thieves who were snatching women’s purses and phones from their hands. In the early hours of Monday morning, law enforcement officers conducted a raid on a suspected safe house located in the Bronx. The individuals being targeted in the operation were migrants originating from Venezuela.
“In the past few months, our city has experienced a surge in migrant crime. However, it is important to recognize that these individuals who are committing these crimes do not represent the majority of people who come to New York to build a better life,” emphasized NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban.
The NYPD announced on Monday that they have linked a mastermind to a string of 62 thefts of phones stolen from women on the street and in the subway system. According to the police, the mastermind was overseeing the entire spree from his apartment in the Bronx.
According to the police, Victor Parra, who is currently on the run, was in charge of a well-organized criminal network consisting mainly of migrants residing in the city.
According to Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny, the thieves utilize social media platforms as a means to plan and execute their thefts. Their modus operandi involves the crew leader, Victor Parra, sending out a message via WhatsApp to announce his intention of acquiring phones.
Operating a scooter would earn you $100, while snatching someone’s phone could fetch you anywhere from $300 to $600. Parra’s apartment became the destination for the stolen phones, where his ‘tech guy’ skillfully hacked into them. By gaining unauthorized access to the victims’ financial and banking apps, they orchestrated fraudulent purchases in the United States or Central America.
After that, the phones were sent to Colombia for a thorough cleaning process. During a search on Monday, the police found 22 stolen phones along with the victim’s identification at Parra’s home. On Monday, authorities detained five individuals, according to investigators.
Cleyber Andrade, a 20-year-old, is facing 25 charges of grand larceny. Juan Uzcatgui, a 23-year-old individual, is facing charges for a total of 23 counts of grand larceny. 24-year-old Roxanna Sahos faces charges of tampering with evidence. Alexander Dayker, a 20-year-old, is facing charges of criminal possession of stolen property.
Out of the 14 crew members, a total of seven individuals have been apprehended and are now facing charges for numerous counts of grand larceny.
“They are essentially ghost criminals,” said Caban. “They have no criminal history, photos, cell phone, or social media presence. Sometimes, we are even unclear about their names or dates of birth. What makes it even more challenging is that these operations are extremely sophisticated.”
Parra, who hails from Venezuela, arrived in the country last year. In December, he appeared before a judge to face charges of grand larceny. The string of incidents began in November 2023, starting on the Upper East Side and the most recent occurrence took place in Chinatown on Sunday night. The thefts took place in every borough, with the exception of Staten Island. Manhattan accounted for nearly 56% of the thefts.
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