Tag Archives: grand larceny

Queens homeless man steals identity of 66-year-old who gave him shelter

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

It was a good deed that backfired.

A 26-year-old homeless man was charged Friday for stealing the identity of an elderly man, who welcomed him into his home, and then going on a $50,000 shopping spree, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Christian Albines, whose last known address was on Woodhaven Boulevard, was arraigned on Sept. 25 on charges of grand larceny, identity theft, forgery, possession of a forged instrument and scheme to defraud. Bail was set at $75,000 and he was ordered to return to court on Oct. 1.

According to prosecutors, the 26-year-old had no place to live in November 2011 when the elderly victim, who was acquainted with Albines’ family, welcomed him into his home.

A month later, the 66-year-old retired from his longtime job at Flushing Hospital. He had paid off all his credit cards, but failed to close them out and then moved back to his home country of Columbia.

During this time, Albines allegedly got access to the credit cards, called the banks and had himself added as an authorized user and extra cards were sent to him in his name, authorities said. Albines allegedly maxed out the cards through charging $50,000 worth of expensive dinners, fancy clothes, car washes and more.

According to Brown, Albines also allegedly filed a false tax return in the victim’s name and collected a $6,000 refund.

Due to Albines’ actions, the victim had to return to the United State to resolve the credit card fraud. The IRS also had begun garnishing the victim’s pension in order to collect the $6,000 refund.

“The defendant is alleged to have taken advantage of the victim’s kindness by running up charges on his credit cards and even filing a bogus tax return to line his own pockets. This is yet another reminder to always protect you financial information and to be very careful whom you take into your home,” Brown said.

Albines, who is currently out on bail, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.


Man wanted for snatching purse in Astoria bar

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted for stealing a purse belonging to a patron at an Astoria bar on Saturday.

The victim, a 25-year-old woman, was inside Oliver’s Astoria Bar located at 37-19 Broadway at 2 a.m. when she left her pocketbook at the bar as she used the restroom.

During her absence, the suspect removed her purse, which contained multiple credit cards and an iPhone 6, according to authorities. 

Police from the 114th Precinct responded after the incident, and the man is now wanted on charges of grand larceny.

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


Suspects wanted for stealing from woman in Whitestone after puncturing car tires

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are asking for help in identifying four suspects wanted for stealing from a 68-year-old woman in Whitestone last week after they punctured one of her car’s tires and later pretended to help her out.

On Friday, Sept. 18, at about 2:50 p.m., police said, the victim parked her car in front of 25-17 Parsons Blvd. and exited the vehicle. While she was away, the first male suspect – described as wearing a gray T-shirt, shorts and sneakers – approached the car and punctured the rear passenger tire with an unknown object, according to authorities.

The victim returned a short time later and drove only a short distance before discovering the flat tire. She parked in front of 25-03 Parson Blvd. to change the tire.

Authorities said she was then approached by two more suspects – both men wearing baseball caps – who offered their help and distracted the victim while a female suspect – described as wearing a dress and sandals – took the victim’s purse containing $1,175, a cellphone and several credit cards from the car. All the suspects then fled the scene.

One of the suspects who offered his help to the victim was last seen wearing a light-colored shirt, white pants and baseball cap, while the other wore a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a black baseball cap.

Police released photos of three of the suspects: the first suspect who punctured the tire, one of the men who offered their help, and the female suspect.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Two suspects in Woodhaven wanted for lottery scam on 80-year-old woman

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Detectives are looking for two suspects in Woodhaven who tricked an 80-year-old woman into giving them $90,000 in cash earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, two suspects approached the victim at 80-35 Jamaica Ave. after exiting a Jeep Cherokee Latitude at about 2:30 p.m.

The first suspect, described by police as a Hispanic woman in her early 40s, asked the victim if she could help her cash a winning lottery ticket. The second suspect, a Hispanic male wearing a pink shirt and blue jeans, explained to the victim what she had to do to cash the winning lottery ticket, police said.

The suspects convinced the victim to withdraw and provide them $90,000. After the victim gave them the money, the suspects drove the woman to her house and asked her to provide a utility bill to prove that was her residence.

When the victim came out of her house to produce the bill, both suspects fled the scene. The incident was later reported to the 102nd Precinct.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

car of suspects


Crook steals bags from sleeping woman in Queens Plaza station

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who swiped valuables from a 61-year-old woman who fell asleep on a bench inside the Queens Plaza subway station earlier this month.

The theft occurred at 6:15 a.m. on July 7 in on the mezzanine level above the E train tracks at the station located below Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard in Long Island City.

According to authorities, the perpetrator — described as a black man between 30 and 35 years of age, standing 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds — walked up to the victim after she nodded off and removed her bags, which contained her cellphone, jewelry and papers.

The crook was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a navy V-neck sweater and light-colored pants.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages will be kept confidential.


Brooklyn man busted for illegally renting out stolen rental cars in Jamaica

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons. Inset courtesy of Port Authority Police Department

Port Authority Police slammed the brakes on a Brooklyn man’s alleged scheme to illegally rent out cars he allegedly stole from a lot at John F. Kennedy Airport.

According to Port Authority Police, Dorien L. Holmes, 23, of East 98th Street allegedly removed at least three vehicles — a Ford Focus, a Hyundai Elantra and a Ford Mustang — from the Avis Car Rental lot at JFK Airport and other locations.

After stealing the cars, authorities said, Holmes allegedly posted advertisements on Craigslist offering to rent the vehicles, which he claimed to own, to drivers for $350 a week or up to $1,000 per month. An ad for the Hyundai Elantra claimed that the vehicle came with insurance and E-ZPass.

Holmes was taken into custody by the Port Authority detectives on Tuesday night after he was spotted driving the Ford Mustang at the corner of 123rd Avenue and 144th Street in Jamaica. Citing information obtained during the investigation, a law enforcement source said the suspect was known to frequent the area where he was arrested.

The Mustang and the other two vehicles in question were seized as a result of the investigation.

As of Thursday morning, Holmes was awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of grand larceny, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, criminal possession of stolen property and driving with a suspended license.


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

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


‘Recidivist’ car thief caught by 106th Precinct

| slicata@queenscourier.com


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.


‘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.