Feds Charge NJ Amtrak Employee With Stealing, Fencing Chainsaws, Parts

Federal agents arrested an Amtrak employee from the Jersey Shore who they said stole chainsaws and part and sold them online.

Amtrak Photo Credit: FACEBOOK

Working as a senior engineer and repairman at the rail service’s North Brunswick facility, Jose Rodriguez clipped 77 chainsaws, 103 bars, and 163 chains with a combined value of well over $50,000 between August 2016 and July 2020, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said Tuesday.

Rodriguez used an online auction service to sell most of the items to buyers through the country, she said.

He also “directly contacted one purchaser on multiple occasions offering to sell chainsaws and parts the day before or the same day that [he] picked up chainsaws and parts from Amtrak,” Honig said.

Agents recovered several of the stolen chainsaws -- thanks, in part, to the serial numbers, the U.S. attorney said.

Detectives from Amtrak Police New York and Mid-Atlantic divisions made the case along with special agents from Amtrak Office of Inspector General’s Eastern Field Office, Honig said.

Federal authorities charged Rodriguez, 48, of Brick with theft from an agency receiving federal funds and theft of government property.

He was scheduled for a video-conferenced first appearance Tuesday afternoon before a federal magistrate judge in Newark.

Handling the case for the government are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cari Fais and Jeffrey Manis of Honig’s Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

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