Migrants who allegedly stole wallets and cellphones from at least 62 women were pictured leaving a New York police station after being arrested in a raid on Monday.
Police arrested at least seven migrants, believed to be all from Venezuela, at a safe house in the Bronx after executing a search warrant.
Two of the migrants, Cleyber Andrade, 20, and Juan Uzcatgui, 23, were led out of Manhattan's 1st District on Monday evening. According to WABC, Andrade was charged with 25 counts of grand larceny and Uzcatugi was charged with 20 counts of grand larceny.
Roxanna Sahos, 24, was charged with tampering with evidence and Alexander Dayker, 20, was charged with criminal possession of stolen property.
In one of the most shocking thefts, a migrant on a moped dragged a 52-year-old woman down a Big Apple street to steal her phone – a robbery that was caught on surveillance footage.
Migrants who are part of a crime gang that allegedly stole wallets and cellphones from at least 62 women were photographed leaving a New York police station
Two of the migrants, Andrade Cleyber, 20, and Juan Uzcatgui, 23, were escorted from the 1st District in Manhattan
Cleyber was charged with 25 counts of grand larceny and Uzcatugi was charged with 20 counts of grand larceny
The scooter thief reportedly stole her bag, phone, credit cards, keys, glasses, $60 in cash and ID last month in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Police are searching for the leader of a group of migrant “ghost criminals” believed to be behind the ring of criminals who rob people, Pix11 reported.
Victor Parra, 30, is the Venezuelan immigrant who is said to be the leader of the group that uses mopeds to rob people and steal phones.
“He’s the big target.” [He] “caused a lot of problems in New York City,” said Officer Nicholas Fiore.
Parra recruited migrants using WhatsApp messages asking them to steal specific phone models, investigators said.
Police said the messages read: “I have money.” I'm available. Go get her.'
Parra allegedly had a technician hack the phones, use them to make fraudulent purchases and drain their bank accounts before sending them to Colombia.
The suspects arrested Monday stole the iPhones to use the Apple Pay feature and use the owners' credit cards to purchase items, police said.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said the scooter riders were paid $100 per day and the phone thieves were paid between $300 and $600 per phone.
“These perpetrators are part of a sophisticated criminal enterprise comprised of immigrants who recently arrived in the United States,” Kenny said. “This network of thieves lives predominantly in the migrant accommodation system.”
NYPD Commissioner Eddie Caban said, “They are essentially ghost criminals.”
Mayor Eric Adams accompanied the investigation, wearing a $700 Fendi scarf under a bulletproof police vest, and later appeared at a news conference with police.
“This is not about the migrants and asylum seekers, this is about those who break the law.” “It doesn't matter where you come from and where you come from,” the Democrat said.
Police released a video showing a migrant on a moped dragging a woman down a New York street to steal her phone. The police are looking for the leader of a group of “ghost criminals” with a migration background who are believed to be behind the ring
The suspects arrested Monday are said to have stolen the iPhones to use the Apple Pay feature and use the owners' credit cards to purchase items
Mayor Eric Adams accompanied the sting operation and later appeared at a news conference with police
Monday's arrests came after another video showed about a dozen migrants attacking two police officers in Times Square late last month.
A Manhattan judge released at least five asylum seekers without bail after they were charged with assault. Only one of the suspects remains in prison.
Four of the suspects are believed to have fled the city after being charged and released after giving false names to a charity that helps migrants get bus tickets.
Many of the migrants were already known to the police for petty theft and shoplifting.
According to the New York Post, the migrants charged in the attack are also part of a phone theft scheme.
“They are buying back cars in Ecuador and Venezuela,” a police source told the Post. “They put pools in their houses there.” All the money flows back and forth. That's why thefts are getting out of control. It's incredible what they do.'
The migrants involved in the attack on two police officers in Times Square are also believed to be part of a phone theft plot
New York City, in particular, is grappling with the burden of tens of thousands of migrants arriving at its borders in need of shelter and other accommodations.
In 2023 alone, the city had to cope with the arrival of more than 100,000 migrants.
In the city's latest controversial move to deal with migrants, Adams announced a $53 million program to give prepaid credit cards to migrant families with children.
Yesterday it was revealed that migrants staying in one of the city's hotels were being given prepaid cards to purchase food and baby items, rather than the city providing meals that the migrants often did not want.
Adams estimated the $53 million program will save the city $600,000 a month or $7.2 million a year, sparking outrage from many across the country, including native New Yorkers like rapper 50 Cent.