Arrests Made In NYC Phone Snatching Ring

A gang of thieves has been plaguing NYC for several months, snatching phones and money from women on the streets before fleeing on stolen mopeds. The gang members used the phones to access banks and financial apps, stealing thousands of dollars before selling the electronics on the black market.

In the last week, police have arrested several men connected with the crime spree, trying to crack down on the ring. Unfortunately, New York City’s soft-on-crime approach has already allowed many of these men to be released without bail in recent months for similar crimes, and they may soon be released to continue committing crimes again.

A Venezuelan migrant named Victor Parra is the gang’s ringleader, and police are still searching for him in the hopes of breaking up these robberies. Parra was released in December after being arrested on grand larceny charges.

One of the gang’s most shocking robberies was caught on camera, where a pair of men on a moped dragged a 62-year-old woman across a sidewalk, slamming her into a bike rack. They stole her phone, credit cards, and purse, leaving her injured and scared of more attacks to come.

The police called the gang a “sophisticated criminal enterprise,” comprised mostly of recent migrants who used a variety of means to plan their crimes and escape afterward. The criminals used fake names, birthdays, and identities, hiding in migrant shelters throughout the city and communicating online to plan their attacks.

According to the recently arrested gang members, Parra would mastermind the phone thefts, texting the group on WhatsApp whenever he was looking for new phones. Once he paid the thieves for the phones, Parra would then have hackers break into the phones, stealing credit card and banking info and making fraudulent purchases with the information. From there, he’d send the phones to buyers in other cities or countries to make even more money off the victims’ electronics.

While the police have made a few arrests, they said there are several more unnamed members connected with the organization that they hope to catch. From there, it’ll be up to New York’s judicial system to decide whether to actually convict these criminals or simply let them loose upon the streets to wreak havoc once more.