An armored truck driver from Howard Beach is out of jail after being charged with allegedly trying to steal a bag containing $1.6 million in Long Island City, prosecutors announced on Thursday.
Riguerson Avril, 37, of 85th Street wound up in handcuffs on July 24 on first- and second-degree grand larceny charges, along with additional counts of criminal possession of stolen property.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, Avril was allegedly seen on security camera removing the money bag from a pallet in the vicinity of Vernon Boulevard and Fifth Street in Long Island City at 10 p.m. on July 23.
After removing the bag, police said, Avril allegedly kicked it underneath a delivery truck. He later told police that he “moved the money off the top, dropped it and kicked it under the truck. I wanted to see if anyone would notice.”
Law enforcement sources said that Avril, after initially shoving the bag under the truck, retrieved it, covered it with his rain jacket and then walked back to his personal vehicle. There he “ripped the bag and put the money into a suitcase” that he later provided to a friend for temporary safe-keeping, prosecutors said.
Avril showed up for work the next day, July 24, where police were waiting for him and took him into custody following questioning. Detectives later recovered all but $10,000 of the pilfered cash from a location in Philadelphia.
“The defendant allegedly took advantage of his access to enrich himself,” Brown said. “He returned to work the following day as if nothing was amiss. If the allegations are proven true, [Avril] will face a long term of incarceration as a result of his greed.”
Court records indicated that Avril was arraigned on July 25 in Queens Criminal Court, then released under supervision. He’s scheduled to return to court on Aug. 21. If convicted of all charges, he could spend up to 25 years in prison.