Six men nabbed for plot to steal ATMs

NYPD police vehicle
NYPD and Brooklyn DA nab ATM thieves
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Six men have been charged for an intricate plot to steal ATMs throughout the city.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced the charges of various crimes, including burglary and grand larceny, in a 92-count indictment against the defendants, who were arrested at LaGuardia Airport after a high-speed chase.

According to the investigation, from June of 2022 to January of 2023, the defendants allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to steal ATMs and other property from various stores, while using apartments in East New York and Clinton Hill to prepare for the crimes.

Many of the 19 burglaries included in the indictment were captured on surveillance footage.

The defendants named in the indictment include Alex Torres, Francisco Torres, Jesus Cedeno, Angel Barbosa, Chris Moustakos and Luis Villanueva. All defendants except for Moustakos reside in Brooklyn. 

“With today’s indictment, we have dismantled a brazen and persistent alleged burglary ring that targeted small businesses throughout the city,” said District Attorney Gonzalez in a statement March 28. “It took meticulous work to build this case and I am thankful to the investigators and prosecutors who put it together. Protecting businesses from break-ins and larceny is an important mission of my office and this case shows our commitment to spending the time and resources necessary to stop criminals from victimizing store owners.”

According to the investigation, members of the burglary ring allegedly used tools like bolt cutters to dismantle the ATMs, while also using an illegal police scanner to keep up to speed on police response during the crimes.

Eleven incidents covered in the indictment took place in Brooklyn, seven in Queens and one in the Bronx, but the exact number of incidents and amount of money and goods stolen remains unknown. 

The largest known amounts stolen in independent incidents are over $60,000 stolen from a wireless store in Ridgewood and $20,000 from a deli in Bushwick.

“These charges put an end to the multi-borough burglary-and-theft spree that potentially netted the defendants tens of thousands of dollars,” Commissioner Sewell said on Tuesday. “This lucrative scheme undermined public safety in New York City, and today’s indictment is the next step toward holding these men accountable for their numerous crimes. I commend and thank the NYPD investigators and prosecutors of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office who worked closely on all aspects of this important case.”