Queens DA indicts seven for alleged involvement in motorcycle theft ring

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown indicted seven individuals, including two from Queens, for their involvement in a motorcycle theft ring.
Photos by Ellis Kaplan
By Mark Hallum

A series of indictments from the Queens district attorney’s office accused seven male individuals of grand larceny and conspiracy, among other charges, for what it said was their involvement in a motorcycle theft ring.

Between March 2016 and February 2017, the people who were arraigned Jan. 9 may have stolen high-end bikes from streets and private garages throughout Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Nassau County, DA Richard Brown said.

“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 Division and my office’s Auto Crime and Insurance Fraud Unit,” Brown said “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.”

One of the accused, identified by the DA as Brooklyn resident Craig Williams, 39, was said to have staked out locations in pricey neighborhoods where valuable motorcycles could be found, tracked police activity and been the getaway driver.

The DA said the group sometimes intentionally broke traffic laws to draw police away from an area.

The group allegedly took as many as 11 motorcycles, favoring Yamahas, Hondas and a Suzuki. The stolen motorcycles were commonly hot-wired or wheeled into a van, according to Brown.

Jose Rosa, 25, of Queens, could face seven years in prison on charges of burglary, larceny, possession of stolen property and conspiracy stick. Hector Zamot, 31, another Queens resident, faces similar charges.

Six of the defendants are being held on bail, save for one who is awaiting extradition from another state, and will return to court on Feb. 6 and 7.

The estimated value of the thefts is $75,000, the DA said.

Brown touted his record as a prosecutor, saying that under his watch, auto thefts have fallen sharply.

“In Queens County, auto theft has long been a benchmark in measuring my office’s effectiveness in combating crime,” Brown said. “My office has devoted significant resources to hunting down criminal organizations that profit from the illicit trafficking of stolen autos, auto parts and insurance fraud — and with great success. As a result, in the 26 years since I became the district attorney, we have had a 96.4 percent drop in auto thefts.

“We are committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting such conduct in Queens County. Those who make the mistake of setting up shop here will face serious felony charges and prison sentences.”

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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