Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Venezuelan Gang Tren de Aragua is 'terrorizing' NYC with Moped-Riding Phone Thefts After Member Lured a Cop to His Death in Miami; Brutally Violent Venezuelan ‘Tren de Aragua’ Gang is Using Migrant Wave to Launch NYC Phone Robbery Spree

Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua is 'terrorizing' NYC with moped-riding phone thefts after member lured a cop to his death in Miami:
Members of Venezuela's most violent gang, El Tren de Aragua, have made their way to New York City, where they have already unleashed their criminal schemes, according to a new report.
In recent weeks New Yorkers have been terrorized by brazen thieves on mopeds who have been snatching the phones and purses of innocent pedestrians. In one of the most brutal incidents yet, a 62-year-old woman was seen being dragged on a Brooklyn street by a thief on a moped - part of a larger crime conspiracy surrounding stolen iPhones.
Last week officials raided the Bronx home of the alleged leader of the operation, Victor Parra, 30, who officials say issued calls for stolen phones on What's App, offering money for migrants to bring the stolen devices to him.
Once he had the devices, a hacker would break into people's Apple Pays and empty their accounts, before the criminals sent the phones to Colombia to be reprogrammed and sold.
It has since emerged that NYPD detectives believe the organized robbery scheme is linked to El Tren de Aragua, which they fear has been sending its gangsters to cross the US-Mexico border as part of a wave of asylum seekers, the New York Post reported.
Parra remains on the run, and while the police are yet to publicly confirm the gang's presence in New York, El Tren de Aragua has already had its first kill in Miami, per authorities.
Former Venezuelan police officer Jose Luis Sanchez Valera, 43, was brutally murdered by Tren de Aragua gangster Yurwin Salazar, 23, according to Miami officials.
Sanchez was beaten, tortured, and forced to hand over the keys to his apartment and safe, where his life savings were stashed in gold bars. His terrified niece, with whom he lived, cowered under the bed as the killers tore through the house.
As shocking as this savage murder seems, it is mild compared to what the gang is capable of, say experts.
El Tren de Aragua is less well known than the Mexican cartels or Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, which was born in a Los Angeles prison in the 1980s among migrants from El Salvador. --->READ MORE HERE
Brutally violent Venezuelan ‘Tren de Aragua’ gang is using migrant wave to launch NYC phone robbery spree:
It’s a crime wave that has raised fears across the city: robbers on mopeds snatching people’s phones from their hands and speeding off.
In one especially brazen attack, moped-riding bandits dragged a 62-year-old woman down a Brooklyn street in December.
After the phones are stolen, the victims’ bank accounts are drained of cash, with fraudulent transactions in both the US and South America, and the phones themselves are sent to Colombia to be wiped, reprogrammed and sold.
Now The Post can disclose that the pattern of robberies is being linked by law enforcement to a brutal Venezuelan gang that is sending its members to New York as part of the migrant wave — and using its sprawling criminal empire to launder the proceeds of the crimes.
Until recent weeks, police had been concerned about rises in thefts and robberies in the city — such as a spate of pickpocketing on the subway system and around the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree — being linked to low-level, unorganized criminals who were among the estimated 170,000 migrants who have arrived in the city since the start of 2023.
But sources tell The Post that the brutal Venezuelan “Tren de Aragua” gang has moved into New York by having its members cross the southern border and claim asylum, and is likely behind many of the moped robberies.
It is the only new gang so far being tracked among the new migrant arrivals in the city, sources say.
The NYPD so far has not discussed the gang publicly — but at a briefing last week, senior officers described a pattern of moped robberies which The Post is told have the hallmarks of Tren de Aragua. --->READ MORE HERE
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