EXCLUSIVE: Two members of a Queens-based theft ring were sentenced today to several years in state prison in connection with a theft in which they ran down a woman after snatching her purse outside a Lyndhurst hotel.
Jesus Ortiz (above, right) and Hector Ruiz (left) admitted in February that they jumped into a car after grabbing the woman’s bag on May 8, 2011 outside the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.
In turn, Ortiz, 39, was sentenced to eight years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Roma, while the 35-year-old Ruiz got four years.
The Jackson Heights duo will have to serve at least 85% of their sentences before they are eligible for parole. For Ortiz, that means about six years and 10 months; for Ruiz: Three years, four months.
Ortiz has remained held without bail in the Bergen County Jail since his arrest: A Peruvian national who is in the United States illegally — and also goes by the name Edgar Melo — he will be deported.
The victim, a Chinese national here on a visit, stepped in front of the vehicle to block their path. But Ortiz hit her with the car, causing “serious bodily injury,” Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney said.
A four-month manhunt for Ruiz ended last September. Ortiz remained on the run another month before leading a police chief following another theft.
According to Delaney, Ortiz, 39, “created a risk of death or injury” to the police and other vehicles, so the officers broke off the chase — only to have him crash the car into a detective’s vehicle in Elizabeth a short time later.
STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
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