A Ridgewood couple went on a pickpocketing spree, stealing from women with baby strollers as they shopped, District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The married pair, Luis A. Chango, 45, and Rosa Jerez, 37, are accused of working together to distract their victims between August and November of this year.
Jerez would often engage the young mothers in conversation, act as a lookout or shield Chango as he removed the victims’ personal property, including cellphones, wallets and as much as $2,000 in cash in one incident, prosecutors said.
During one of the thefts, Chango even allegedly pulled an iPhone out of the hands of a baby that was playing with it, causing the child to burst into tears.
They not only went after women at businesses in their own neighborhood, but also hit a Jackson Heights Carter’s children’s store on 82nd Street several times, other western Queens clothing stores and a seafood shop in Brooklyn, Brown said.
Chango and Jerez have both been charged with multiple counts of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, endangering the welfare of a child and petit larceny.
If convicted, Chango, who acted alone in six of the 14 thefts, faces up to 38 years in prison, according to prosecutors. Jerez faces up to 23 years.