Cops slam the brakes on a major motorcycle theft ring plaguing Queens and Brooklyn

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Six men, including two from Queens, were charged this week for stealing motorcycles off of the streets and residential properties in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Nassau County between March 2016 and February 2017.

According to the indictment, Craig Williams, 39, of Brooklyn, is alleged to have been the ring’s location scout and getaway driver. Williams is accused of being scoping out desirable neighborhoods for motorcycles as well as law enforcement activity.

After Williams would scout out the activity, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, members of the crew would purposely commit driving infractions to draw out any police in the area.

Charges say that members of the crew would hot wire or simply lift motorcycles into a van so they could steal them. On certain occasions, motorcycles were allegedly stolen from garages of private homes and apartment buildings.

A total of 11 motorcycles valuing an estimated $75,000, including Yamahas, Hondas and a Suzuki, were allegedly stolen by the crew and sold on the black market. The thefts occurred in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Nassau County.

An investigation began in March 2016 and included court-authorized wire taps of cellphone conversations.

The following men were booked on charges including third-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fifth-degree conspiracy:

  • Craig Williams, 39, of Brooklyn
  • Jose Rosa, 25, of Queens
  • Ivan Santiago, 33, of Brooklyn
  • Jonathan Santiago, 31, of Brooklyn
  • Hector Zamot, 31, of Queens
  • Hector Gonzalez, 32, of Hazleton, PA

Bail has been set at $30,000 for Williams, $25,000 for Rosa, $15,000 for Ivan Santiago, $5,000 for Jonathan Santiago and $10,000 for Zamot. If convicted, each defendant faces up to seven years in prison. Gonzalez is currently being held in Pennsylvania and is pending extradition to New York. The last suspect has yet to be apprehended.

“The indictments are the result of a long-term joint investigation by the New York City Police Department’s Queens South Auto Larceny Unit, its Auto Crime and my office’s Auto Crime and Insurance Fraud Unit,” said Brown. “The defendants charged in this case are alleged to have worked together — and sometimes separately — stealing and then selling the snatched motorcycles on the black market.”