The largest robbery pattern in the city has been foiled by the NYPD. They were able to stop thieves who were snatching women’s purses and phones right out of their hands.
In the early hours of Monday morning, law enforcement officers conducted a raid on a suspected safe house located in the Bronx. The individuals involved in the operation are migrants hailing from Venezuela.
“In the past few months, our city has experienced an increase in migrant crime. However, it is important to note that the actions of these individuals do not reflect the intentions and aspirations of the majority who come to New York in search of a better life,” emphasized NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban.
According to the NYPD, they have connected a series of 62 phone thefts targeting women on the street and in the subway system to a mastermind who orchestrated the spree from his apartment in the Bronx.
According to the police, Victor Parra, who is still at large, operated an intricate criminal network primarily composed of migrants residing in the city.
Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny explained that the thieves utilize social media platforms as a means to plan and execute their thefts. In this modus operandi, the crew’s leader, Victor Parra, would send a message through WhatsApp, expressing his intention to acquire mobile phones.
A scooter operator could earn $100, while a phone snatcher had the potential to make $300 to $600.
Parra’s apartment served as the location where the phones were taken. There, his ‘tech guy’ skillfully hacked into the stolen devices, gaining unauthorized access to the victims’ financial and banking apps. This enabled them to carry out fraudulent purchases, primarily within the United States or Central America.
The phones underwent a process of being sent to Colombia for thorough cleaning, ensuring that all data was completely erased.
During a search on Monday, the police discovered 22 stolen phones as well as the victim’s identification at Parra’s home.
On Monday, law enforcement officials apprehended five individuals, according to investigators.
Cleyber Andrade, a 20-year-old, is facing charges for 25 counts of grand larceny.
Juan Uzcatgui, a 23-year-old individual, is facing charges for a total of 23 counts of grand larceny.
Roxanna Sahos, a 24-year-old, is facing charges of tampering with evidence.
Alexander Dayker, a 20-year-old individual, is facing charges for criminal possession of stolen property.
Out of the total crew members, a total of seven individuals have been apprehended and are now facing numerous charges of grand larceny.
“They’re basically like ghost criminals,” Caban explained. “They have no criminal history, no photos, no cell phones, and no social media presence. Sometimes, we don’t even have their full name or date of birth. What’s more, these operations are incredibly sophisticated.”
Parra, originally from Venezuela, arrived in the country last year. He appeared before a judge in December, facing a grand larceny charge.
The string of incidents began in November 2023 on the Upper East Side, with the most recent occurrence taking place in Chinatown on Sunday night.
The thefts took place in all boroughs except Staten Island, with Manhattan accounting for nearly 56% of the incidents.