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Authorities in New York have busted a group who they said were responsible for a series of heists at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The group is accused of stealing more than $6 million worth of designer merchandise from luxury brands like Gucci, Prada and Chanel and selling stolen goods.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said two former truckers who worked at JFK, David Lacarriere and Gary McArthur, used their knowledge of how shipments are picked up at the airport to forge documents with flight details. They and others then loaded pallets of designer goods into a tractor-trailer and drove away.
More than 1.3 million tons of cargo passed through JFK last year. (iStock)
OVER 100 CORONAVIRUS CASES HAVE BEEN REPORTED AMONG US AIR MARSHALS, TSA CONFIRMS
JFK is the largest airport in the New York City area. More than 1.3 million tons of cargo passed through the airport last year, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
JFK was also the site of the notorious 1978 Lufthansa heist, famously highlighted in the movie “Goodfellas.”
“Of course our airports must be safe and secure for travelers, but they also must be trusted by international companies transporting cargo to our region,” Katz said in a press release.
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When police found the abandoned trailers used in the heists, they were empty except for trash and had been drenched with bleach inside, according to Katz.
Investigators from the Port Authority Police Department and FBI eventually tracked the men to a shuttered beauty salon in Jamaica, Queens that was being used as a stash house for the stolen merchandise. On June 3, police went to search the shop, interrupting the sale of 117 items to Alan Vu of Jersey City, New Jersey. Katz said the items, which were mostly Chanel handbags, were worth more than $300,000.
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Police raiding the shop found boxes stuffed with stolen goods. They recovered more than 3,000 Gucci bags and clothing items plus 1,000 Chanel purses, jewelry pieces and sunglasses. They valued the items at more than $2.5 million.
A grand jury indicted six defendants on 22 total charges, according to Katz. Two of them are still being sought by police.
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