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Police sting shuts down Queens car theft ring: Brown

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The Queens district attorney said Friday that police broke up a major auto theft ring allegedly responsible for more than $400,000 in luxury car thefts from car dealerships in the borough.

Eight people — five from Brooklyn, one from Hempstead, L.I., and one from New Jersey — were charged in two separate indictments with conspiracy, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property counts in Queens Criminal Court Friday morning. One of the defendants, Lisle Jackson, works as an assistant principal at MS 61 in Brooklyn, according to the DA.

District Attorney Richard Brown said that over the course of the last nine months, the auto theft ring is accused of stealing 16 luxury vehicles from various auto−dealerships in Queens and Long Island and had the vehicle identification numbers changed before reselling them.

“A sweeping nine−month investigation that utilized both court−authorized wiretaps and traditional surveillance has dismantled a loosely knit auto theft ring that specialized in stealing luxury automobiles,” Brown said. “For such thieves, an automobile dealership represented the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They could leisurely window shop for the exact makes and models of the cars they wanted and then, under the cover of darkness, steal them.”

The DA said the cars were allegedly stolen from dealerships in Whitestone, Jamaica, Woodside, Bayside, Corona and Long Island and were predominantly 2008 model BMWs, Mercedes−Benzes and Lincolns.

Brown said the majority of the vehicles were allegedly stolen from Recon Motors, at 112−09 14th Ave. in Whitestone, a storage facility where numerous dealerships store their excess inventory.

According to Brown, members of the theft ring would allegedly steal the cars from the lots and take them to a holding facility in Brooklyn until they could be sold. Once a buyer was found, Brown said members of the team would allegedly take the vehicles and replace the vehicle ID numbers at a one−car garage at 149−19 133rd Ave. in Jamaica, before completing the sale thereafter.

Melvin Pinckney, 54, of 398 Sheffield Ave. in Brooklyn; David Jimenez, 40, of 790 Eldert Lane in Brooklyn; Alexander Gil, 34, of 179 Atkins Ave. in Brooklyn; Eddie Olivera, 38, of 3226 Bronxwood Ave. in the Bronx; Trevlyn Latore, 35, of 26 Harriman Ave. in Hempstead, L.I.; Kimani Salley, 30, of 638 MacDonough St. in Brooklyn; and Ibn Traynham, 32, of 413 Dodd St. in East Orange, N.J., were each arraigned Friday.

“This successful operation is emblematic of why car thefts in New York City, including Queens, have plummeted in recent years,” city Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 6:33 pm, October 10, 2011
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