A gang linked to over 200 burglaries brought to justice

Six individuals from the Bronx, notorious for their high-speed getaways, have been linked to over 200 burglaries and 50 vehicle thefts. Their downfall came when they began to show off their stolen goods and large sums of cash on social media platforms, leading to their arrest, as announced by authorities on Friday. The group is believed to have stolen items and cash worth around $3 million, including at least 54 vehicles, from June 2020 to July 2021, as per the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut.

The group, consisting of Willie Baines, 47, Josepher Cartagena, 27, Brandon Collazo-Rivera, 26, Justin Herrera, 23, Douglas Noble, 29, and Alexander Santiago, 28, admitted to their crimes in Nassau County Court on August 3. They were connected to burglaries across 11 New York counties in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island. They also face charges for additional crimes in Connecticut and New Jersey.

The six men were charged with various counts of grand larceny and burglary. They all pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to prison, as stated by James’ office on Friday. The six individuals were convicted of charges relating to more than 200 burglaries last Friday.

According to a press release by James, “These burglars left a trail of broken glass, smashed businesses, and dangerous high-speed chases in their wake. Our communities are safer now that these six individuals have been brought to justice.”

The six men were linked to the burglaries through surveillance footage, license plate readers, and cellphone data. Their social media posts, often uploaded just minutes after the crimes, helped police connect specific stolen items to each of the six men.

Authorities said Santiago and Cartagena planned the burglary sprees and recruited the others. They would then inventory the stolen goods, oversee their sale, and divide earnings among the participants. The group would target neighborhoods with several car dealerships and cellphone stores, often hitting multiple stores within a few hours.

In their cellphone, video game, and ATM store burglaries, the gang would allegedly smash glass front doors and steal as much merchandise and cash as they could carry. Baines was first arrested by New York City police on Dec. 22, 2020, after a high-speed pursuit in a stolen vehicle followed by a foot chase. He continued to burglarize businesses while out on bail and has been detained since March 2021.