Migrant moped gang stealing phones, hacking victims’ bank accounts, NYPD warns

After a string of violent crimes, the New York Police Department (NYPD) is warning residents about a migrant moped gang attacking New Yorkers and trying to hack their bank accounts. 

Members of a migrant crime gang dragged a woman down a New York City street, grabbing her purse and sending her careening into a steel pole before speeding off. The incident occurred on December 28, but was captured on surveillance video. 

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NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said they are part of “a wave of migrant crime” plaguing New York City, and he likened them to ghosts – undocumented illegal immigrants with no phones, no social media and, sometimes, no known names or dates of birth.

“This is the organized crime. It’s just like the Mafia. But it’s a non-traditional organized crime group and it’s a continuing criminal enterprise,” NYC Detectives’ Endowment Association president Paul DiGiacomo said on “Fox & Friends,” Thursday. 

“This is something that has to be worked on, on a double prong with the NYPD and the federal government to really stop this syndicate.”

New York City police announced a property crime crackdown and several arrests Monday following a raid on the migrant robbery ring with ties to Venezuela and a method involving using powered scooters — as a group of suspects in an attack on the NYPD remains unaccounted for.

Speaking at a news briefing Monday afternoon, NYPD leaders named eight suspects in connection with the ring: alleged mastermind Victor Parra, as well as Cleyber Andrada, Juan Uzcatgui, Yan Jimenez, Anthony Ramos, Richard Saledo, Beike Jimenez and Maria Manaura.

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Parra would allegedly send out a notice for specific models of phones he wanted, linking crooks from around the Big Apple who may not have even known one another for robbery missions, police said. Next, they would steal scooters and hit the streets to swipe phones and purses away from victims.

A “tech guy” would then allegedly hack the stolen phones, access banking and financial apps and drain the accounts, police said. If they ran dry or the owners placed a lock on their money, the stolen phones would then be sent around the country or to Colombia to be reprogrammed and sold.

While police have cracked down on this ring, some suspected members remain at large. 

In addition, there have been other violent group crimes among migrants. A mob of illegal immigrants kicked and beat the NYPD officers just steps from the New Amsterdam Theater earlier this month.

The now-viral video of the altercation and the migrants’ subsequent release without bail has put the state’s bail reform policies under further scrutiny.

“Even if it’s a big crime, they don’t do any time at all,” DiGiacomo said. “For three years now, we’ve been telling Albany that the bail reform laws are not working. And, clearly, they’re not working because these individuals are out. You know, this law has to be changed to hold the criminal accountable for their actions. And there must be consequences. And until we have consequences, crime will continue to go up.”

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The brutal attacks come amid an uptick in violent crime being perpetrated in the Big Apple by illegal immigrants while the taxpayer continues to pay for the housing and food of around 67,000 migrants at various shelters as funding for other services is slashed. For instance, a $60 million cut to the city’s food budget has resulted in the cafeteria menu removing student favorites like cookies, chicken dumplings and burritos, according to Chalkbeat.

“This has to be an effort by the NYPD, the federal government, and we have to work hand in hand to make sure that these individuals are properly punished,” DiGiacomo concluded.

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.