Tag Archives: grand larceny

Manhattan woman stole $350K from her Fresh Meadows mom: DA


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

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An Upper East Side woman was arraigned Tuesday on charges of stealing more than $340,000 from her elderly mother, a Fresh Meadows resident, prosecutors announced.

Barbara Schwartz, 62, of East 71 Street in Manhattan allegedly withdrew funds from her mother’s bank account to pay for spa treatments, clothing, alcohol and cab rides from 2010 to 2013.

She was arraigned Tuesday on a four-count indictment charging her with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Schwartz was ordered held on $50,000 bond.

Law enforcement sources said Schwartz came into control of her 91-year-old mother’s finances after the elderly woman suffered a stroke in 2008. Authorities were alerted to the theft by another child of the victim, and an analysis of the suspect’s bank records allegedly indicated that none of the money was used to benefit the ailing woman.

“The defendant’s mother spent a lifetime acquiring the assets needed to make her final years comfortable and free of the stress of financial worry, only to suffer a stroke and have her daughter allegedly steal the money for her own personal use,” Brown said.

Schwartz is scheduled to return to court on June 23.

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EMT to repay over $300K stolen from Queens volunteer ambulance group


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's office

One of three EMTs who were arrested for stealing more than $300,000 from a nonprofit volunteer ambulance group has been sentenced to serve four months in jail and pay full restitution, authorities said.

Daniel Dominguez, a volunteer emergency medical technician, was arrested in 2013 along with two other EMTs for stealing from bank accounts of the Corona Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps (CCAC).

The arrests took place after the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau received a complaint from CCAC board members about “possible missing and misappropriated funds from CCAC bank accounts.”

An investigation found that while Dominguez served as a board member and treasurer of CCAC, he stole more than $300,000 from the nonprofit’s bank accounts by transferring funds directly to his personal accounts, according to a felony complaint. He then used the money to go on trips to Disney World and Niagara Falls, and purchased luxury car service trips and expensive meals.

“Daniel Dominguez used this charity dedicated to providing medical services to New Yorkers as his own personal piggy bank,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “This defendant is not only headed to jail, but also must repay every dollar that he stole from the nonprofit. Our message is clear: Crime doesn’t pay.”

Dominguez also allegedly helped a second EMT and CCAC board member, Daryl Adeva, make an unauthorized transfer of $8,960 to his own account, court records said. The attorney general also charged the third EMT, David Moretti, who served as a board member and president of CCAC, in a third felony complaint for stealing more than $11,000 from the nonprofit between September 2008 and May 2011.

Dominguez pleaded guilty on Jan. 14 of this year to grand larceny in the third degree and was sentenced Friday to serve four months in jail, five years probation and to pay full restitution. If he fails to pay the full restitution, Dominguez faces up to seven years in prison.

The two other EMTs — Adeva and Moretti — were each already convicted of attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree. Moretti pleaded guilty to the charge in March 2014 and Adeva pleaded guilty in May 2014.

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Suspect arrested in string of LIC, Astoria restaurant break-ins


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

One man’s burglary spree has come to an end, as officers of the 114th and 108th precincts worked together to arrest him for allegedly breaking into businesses overnight in Long Island City and Astoria dating back to last June.

According to court records, each time 40-year-old Shameek Dunbar would break into the establishments through either a door or window, and once inside would take money, ranging from $20 to $1,000, from cash registers.

Dunbar was arrested on Feb. 25 at his home in Queensbridge when forensics evidence linked him to one of four burglaries in the confines of the 114th Precinct, a police source said.

Subsequent investigation linked him to seven more burglaries, these in the confines of the 108th Precinct.

“This was fantastic detective work,” said Capt. John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct. “It was good working together from both precincts.”

Criminal complaints detailed nine of the 11 incidents:

  • Between June 10, 2014, at 9 p.m. and June 11 at 9:30 a.m., Dunbar broke into Andres Pizza located at 25-19 40th Ave. through a glass door. He is observed through surveillance footage cutting wires on a cash register, worth about $450. The store owner alleges that $20 was taken from the register.
  • On Oct. 24, 2014, Dunbar broke into Tequila Sunrise located at 40-01 Northern Blvd. through a side window. The owner alleged $350 was taken from a cash register.
  • Between Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 3:12 a.m., the suspect entered Barista at 11-11 44th Rd. through a front glass door. Surveillance footage shows Dunbar throwing a rock at the door. He later took money.
  • On Jan. 2 between 3:04 and 4:18 a.m. Dunbar entered Hu Department Store located at 47-09 Northern Blvd. through the front door. Although the store owner alleged $1,000 was missing from the register, Dunbar said he tried to open the register but couldn’t and then left.
  • Between Jan. 18 at 11 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 4 a.m. Dunbar entered a business at 47-29 Vernon Blvd. through a window and surveillance shows him trying to pry open a register.
  • On Jan. 24 between 3:35 a.m. and 4:05 a.m. Dunbar broke into Pachanga Patterson located at 33-17 31st Ave. The store owner alleges $200 was missing from a cash register.
  • Between Jan. 31 at 10 p.m. and Feb. 1 at 3:17 a.m. the suspect broke into Petey’s Burger at 46-46 Vernon Blvd. through a side window. Surveillance footage shows him prying open a register and taking money.
  • Between Feb. 12 at 8:30 a.m. and Feb. 13 at 11:45 a.m., the suspect entered Breadbox Café at 47-11 11th St. through a door. He the used a screwdriver to pry open a register and took $300.
  • Between Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 22 at 3:45 a.m. the suspect entered Mix Nail Salon at 44-68 21st St. through the glass front door. Surveillance video shows the suspect entering the location, prying open a register and taking money.

Dunbar is facing charges of burglary, criminal mischief, possession of burglar tools, petit larceny, and for one of the incidents a charge of grand larceny.

He is due back in Queens Criminal Court on April 9. 

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Career criminal busted for stealing airbags, hybrid battery pack in Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons/Shoreline

A 48-year-old man, with more than 20 arrests in about two decades on his record, is now being charged with breaking into several cars and stealing airbags, and in one case a hybrid vehicle battery pack, according to authorities.

Peter C. Ali, an Astoria resident, was arraigned on March 5 and charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, possession of burglar’s tools, petit larceny and resisting arrest.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, on Dec. 28, 2014, Ali broke into a late model Toyota Camry yellow taxi parked on Queens Boulevard and 52nd Street in Woodside and removed the car’s hybrid battery pack, valued at about $4,000.

Later, on Feb. 25, Ali was allegedly seen using a flashlight to look into the interior of a silver Toyota Camry on the corner of 21st Street and 29th Avenue in Astoria before stealing the car’s airbag. The next day, Ali allegedly took another airbag from a 2010 Toyota minivan parked near Austin Street and Union Turnpike in Forest Hills.

Ali was caught on March 5 as officers of the Grand Larceny Unit witnessed him stealing an airbag from a car in Astoria , according to a police source.

The incident with the hybrid battery was one of 11 that have occurred in the confines of the 108th Precinct since November. During those incidents, car thieves walked away with the expensive batteries from the trunks of the vehicles. The investigation for the remaining 10 cases is ongoing.

Ali is currently being held on $100,000 bail and his next court date is scheduled for March 18. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

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Pair wanted for stealing from Richmond Hill RadioShack


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Kicking RadioShack while it’s already down, a pair of suspects shoplifted from its Richmond Hill location, taking merchandise right off store shelves before fleeing, police said.

The duo, a woman and man, entered the electronics store, located at 113-20 Liberty Ave., on Feb. 18 at about 5 p.m., according to authorities. While the woman distracted the store employee, her partner removed merchandise from the shelves and placed them into a bag. They then fled.

Police describe the two suspects as a black woman with long hair wearing a brown jacket, and a black man wearing a black ski hat and black jacket.

Though numerous RadioShack locations in Queens and throughout the U.S. are slated to close by the end of the month, the Richmond Hill store is not one of them.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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81-year-old Astoria woman scammed out of $3K: cops


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

An Astoria senior citizen was the victim of a money scam last Monday after a pair of thieves tricked her into giving them $3,000 in cash, police said.

The 81-year-old victim was in front of her 21st Street apartment about 8:45 a.m. on Dec. 1 when she was approached by a man and woman, both 35, cops said. The suspects then told her they had found a large amount of money and that she would be able to have $70,000 of it, as along as she proved to the bank that she had $3,000 in cash.

The victim brought the female suspect to her apartment building and gave her the $3,000, with the suspect promising they would return with her $70,000, police said. But they never came back.

The female suspect is described as 5 foot 5 inches tall and 160 pounds, and the male suspect is 5 feet tall and 200 pounds.

Police have released a surveillance video of the female suspect.

Anyone with information in regards to this grand larceny is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Queens man arrested for stealing two Jetway motors at JFK


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Port Authority Police Department

Cambria Heights man working at John F. Kennedy International Airport allegedly stole two Jetway motors with the intention of selling them for scrap metal.

On Thursday at the airport’s Terminal 7, witnesses saw 30-year-old James Hicks-Johnson, who works for a de-icing company, place two Jetway motors into his company’s vehicle and then drive off, according to authorities.

Hicks-Johnson did not have any authorization to remove the engines, which were valued at $7,000 each and belonged to British Airways, according to Port Authority Police. When he returned to the terminal he was placed under arrest by Port Authority police officers.

When questioned Hicks-Johnson made statements suggesting that he intended to sell the property for scrap metal, authorities said.

He was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

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‘Recidivist’ car thief caught by 106th Precinct


| slicata@queenscourier.com

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An auto theft “recidivist” was arrested for grand larceny auto by cops from the 106th Precinct on Monday, police said, their second major arrest of an alleged car thief in the last month.

Richard Hobbs, 27, of Lindenwood, was caught behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle early Monday morning by plainclothes officers, cops said.

He was connected to the theft of two other vehicles just two weeks prior to this arrest, according to police.

Furthermore, cops were able to link Hobbs to four car break-ins in Howard Beach, police said.

In July, the cops from the 106th Precinct arrested a teenager in Howard Beach for breaking into vehicles throughout the neighborhood. At the time of the arrest, the alleged thief had property from at least five other cars, according to police.

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, has been out-spoken at community meetings, giving tips to residents on ways to keep their cars and property safe.

After the arrest of what he called the “auto-theft/car-break-in recidivist,” Schiff tweeted gleefully, “Let’s hope he goes away 4 a long while!”

After the two arrests, area residents are hopeful the worst is behind them.

“It is my hope that the arrests will help slow down these types of crimes in our community,” Joanne Ariola, a resident of Howard Beach, said.

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‘Robber’ threatens to castrate victim at Astoria McDonald’s: cops


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

One McDonald’s customer had a not-so-happy meal after a woman threatened to castrate him during a knifepoint robbery.

Kimberly Horvath was charged with robbery and menacing for pointing a pink knife at an unsuspecting diner inside an Astoria McDonald’s at 31-73 Steinway St. on March 26 and telling him to give her $20, according to a criminal complaint.

“How about I rob you right now? I can cut you up with my knife. I will cut your b—s off,” Horvath allegedly told the victim, John Briscione, according to the court document.

Horvath then  snatched a bag with two DVDs from his hands, the complaint said.

She was also charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon.

Horvath is being held on $7,500 bail and her next appearance is scheduled for April 10 at the Queens Criminal Court.

 

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Cops arrest alleged catalytic converter thieves in Flushing


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File graphic image

Police arrested two men in Flushing for allegedly sawing catalytic converters off multiple trucks in a U-Haul storage lot.

The device — which contains precious metals inside, like platinum — has been the target of a costly new citywide crime trend.

Dwayne Longmore, 31, and Neil Stephens, 33, were arrested Jan. 4 and charged with grand larceny for allegedly removing eight catalytic converters out of the 36-30 College Point Blvd. lot, police said.

The stolen devices totaled nearly $5,000, according to Crime Prevention Officer Anthony Lo Verme of the 109th Precinct.

Executive Officer Captain Tommy Ng said the precinct has not seen other catalytic converter thefts since the arrests.

The 111th Precinct, which reported a spike in November and December, is also experiencing a lull in the crime this month, though other grand larcenies are spiking, Crime Prevention Officer Luigi Galano said.

Car thefts and vehicle break-ins in Bayside have increased, as drivers are still leaving valuables unattended and in plain view.

“It’s enough for us to realize there’s a problem,” Galano said.

The crimes are taking place near the Bayside Gables and from Northern Boulevard to 35th Avenue.

The NYPD said parking in well-lit areas near traffic, being aware of surroundings and checking on cars, even while at home, could help avoid thefts.

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Nearly $7,000 in cash stolen from Maspeth church


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

A perpetrator stole nearly $7,000 in cash from Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Maspeth, cops said.

The money was taken from a car in front the church near 56th Road. The suspect took $6,900 in cash and $1,300 in checks, according to police.

The vehicle was being fixed at the time of the crime, and upon further investigation police learned that the money inside belonged to the church, authorities said.

If you have any information relating to the above incident please contact the 104th Precinct Detective Squad (718) 386-3004.

The church declined to comment.

 

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Police seek suspect in Flushing restaurant purse theft


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a woman who last month snatched an unattended purse off a chair at a Chinese restaurant in Flushing and fled.

The grand larceny took place at Good Fortune Restaurant, at 46-45 Kissena Boulevard, on Nov. 30 at about noon.

The suspect — described as an Asian woman with long black hair and brown eyes — allegedly took the bag off a chair after a 25-year-old female victim left it behind to go to the bathroom, police said.

The thief walked out of the restaurant and fled in a 2013 black Mercedes Benz, according to authorities.

Officers of the 109th Precinct urge residents to keep their valuables close while shopping and dining and not to leave them unattended, especially in restaurants, cars and shopping carts.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477.

 

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Five Queens men charged in alleged luxury car theft ring


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

A luxury automobile theft ring responsible for allegedly stealing 48 high-end vehicles, valued at close to $2.4 million has been shut down,  District Attorney Richard Brown announced Wednesday.

As a result of the investigation, 18 people have been charged, including five people from Queens, said Brown.

Those charged are accused of stealing the cars from Queens County and around the tri-state area. The vehicles included Bentley Continental GTC Convertible, Mercedes Benz s550 4matic, as well as Audis, BMWs Range Rovers, Jeep Grand Cherokees and a Porsche Panamera. They allegedly stole,  “tagged” the cars, then used “brokers” to sell them.

“The defendants charged in this case, dubbed ‘Operation Title Wave,’ brazenly shopped for high-end luxury vehicles as orders from their criminal cohorts were placed – plucking the automobiles right out of dealerships,” said Brown.

The defendants have been charged with enterprise corruption,  grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, conspiracy, illegal possession of a vehicle identification number, forgery of a vehicle identification number and forgery. If convicted, those charged with enterprise corruption face up to 25 years in prison. The other defendants face maximum sentences of between seven and 15 years in prison.

“The ring of thieves arrested in this case treated driveways, dealerships, parking lots and other locations like their personal showrooms, used GPS to track luxury vehicles and then burglarized businesses and unlocked vehicles for keys to drive their selections away,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “Some are alleged to have additionally dealt narcotics.”

In addition to the auto crime charges, it was alleged that one of the defendants, Albert Natanov from Flushing, also operated a narcotics trafficking ring with two other individuals – Raymond O’Connell and Anthony Carrington – from which more than 20 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of approximately $1 million were recovered.

In the narcotics case, the three defendants have been charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance, attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy, criminal sale of marijuana and possession of marijuana.

The defendants were arraigned earlier this week in Queens Supreme Court and ordered to return to court on January 15.

 

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Three volunteer EMTs charged with stealing from Corona nonprofit


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507

Three volunteer EMTs have been arrested after allegedly stealing more than $325,000 from a not-for-profit volunteer ambulance group, according to the attorney general.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Friday, September 20 that Daniel Dominguez, 37, Daryl Adeva, 31, and David Moretti, 41, were arrested for stealing from bank accounts of the Corona Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps (CCAC).

“These emergency medical technicians, who were entrusted with providing medical services and transportation for New York residents, instead took advantage of their positions and used a not-for-profit ambulance corps as their own personal piggy bank,” said Schneiderman. “My office will continue to weed out theft and fraud in charitable organizations and prosecute criminals who take advantage of the public’s trust.”

The arrests took place after the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau received a complaint from CCAC board members about “possible missing and misappropriated funds from CCAC bank accounts.”

According to a felony complaint, the investigation found that while Dominguez served as a board member and treasurer of CCAC, he stole more than $300,000 from the nonprofit’s bank accounts by transferring funds directly to his personal accounts. He then allegedly used the money to go on trips to Disney World and Niagara Falls, and purchased luxury car service trips and expensive meals.

In a second felony complaint, Dominguez allegedly helped Adeva, another CCAC board member, make an unauthorized transfer of $8,960 to his own account. The Attorney General also charged Moretti, who served as a board member and president of CCAC, in a third felony complaint for stealing more than $11,000 from the nonprofit between September 2008 and May 2011.

“Moretti received wire transfers, cash withdrawals and unauthorized credit card purchases,” said the complaint. “These purchases included overseas money transfer and personal car payments, all made without the permission of the CCAC board members.”

All three volunteer EMTs were arrested and arraigned on September 20 on grand larceny charges.

If convicted, Dominguez, who was charged with grand larceny in the second degree, faces up to five to 15 years in prison. Moretti and Adeva were both charged with grand larceny in the third degree and each face up to two and one-third to seven years in prison.

Police: Man steals gold necklace from toddler at Jackson Heights McDonald’s


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops aren’t happy with a man who thought stealing is as easy as taking candy from a baby.

Police are looking for the man who snatched a gold necklace and charm from a three-year-old girl on Friday afternoon in Jackson Heights.

The man followed the girl and her mother to a McDonald’s on 37-59 82nd Street, according to authorities, and when the pair went upstairs the man followed and removed the jewelry.

The male suspect is described as being 40-years-old, balding with a grey button down shirt and blue jeans. Police have release video surveillance of the suspect.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or submit their tips by texting 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577 or by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website.

 

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