A trio of thieves who snatched high-end vehicles in New Jersey, Rockland County, Long Island and Connecticut often used one stolen car to swipe another, federal authorities said.
In one instance, they said, the Essex County crew members stole a Maserati GranTurisimo at the Jersey Shore and drove it to New City in Rockland, where they took a Range Rover and a Porsche.
A predawn police pursuit followed before the Maserati driver hit the gas and slammed it head-on into a police vehicle, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
The suspects fled in another vehicle, he said.
Authorities later recovered one of the stolen cars in a shipping container bound for Ghana at Port Newark, the U.S. attorney said.
Among other vehicles that Carpenito said the crew took:
- 2019 BMW X4 M40i stolen from Greenwich, CT;
- 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 stolen from Clifton, NJ;
- 2017 Mercedes S550 and 2019 Rolls Royce, stolen from Hewlett Bay Park, NY;
- 2019 Land Rover stolen from Kensington, NY;
- 2019 Mercede-Maybach stolen from Quogue, NY;
- 2014 Lexus GS stolen from West Long Branch, NJ;
- 2017 BMW M4 stolen from Marlton, NJ;
- 2017 Mercedes AMG S63 stolen from Orangeburg, NY.
The thieve stole the vehicles – worth more than $1.5 million -- between mid-July and early September last year and hid them in Irvington while selling them, Carpenito said.
Charged with conspiring to transport stolen vehicles in interstate commerce are Malik “Smack” Baker, 26, of Vauxhall, Hakeem “B.A.” Smith, 29, and Nafique Goodwyn, 26, both of Newark.
Baker and Smith were also charged with conspiring to receive stolen vehicles and receiving a stolen vehicle that had crossed state lines. Smith also was charged with one count of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines.
A U.S. magistrate judge in Newark ordered Goodwyn released Wednesday on a $100,000 home detention bond. Baker and Smith already were being held on unrelated charges and will make their initial appearances in federal court later.
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, New Jersey State Police, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office and police from Newark, Irvington, Clarkstown, Wall Township, Marlboro and Tewskbury.
Handling the case for the government are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Amore and Olajide Araromi of Carpenito’s Criminal Division in Newark.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.