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Duo Admits To Roles In Burglary Of Area Store Leading To Fatal Crash

Gavel Photo Credit: Pixabay/QuinceCreative

Two men have pleaded guilty to taking part in a burglary of an area motor-sports store that eventually led to the death of an occupant in their get-away van.

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Monday, Oct. 18, that Luis Colon, age 27, and Jose Tavera, age 18, both of New Jersey, pleaded guilty to charges related to the burglary of a Town of Newburgh motor-sports store, in Orange County, where an occupant of the van that they were in which was transporting the stolen motorbikes and ATVs crashed, killing one occupant. 

 Colon, who admitted being the driver of the van, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and burglary. 

 Tavera, who was charged as an adolescent offender, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary.

 The District Attorney’s Office will recommend that Colon be sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Tavera be sentenced to five years.

The incident took place on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, at about 1:30 a.m. when the two men stole motorbikes and go-karts from the Big Boyz Toys motor-sports store located on Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh. 

 They placed the stolen vehicles in a van which was then pursued by marked patrol cars of the Town of Newburgh Police Department and the New York State Police.

At times the van was traveling in excess of 90 miles an hour. In an apparent attempt to evade the police vehicles, the group in the van threw stolen vehicles at the police vehicles, damaging a state police car. 

The van, which was driven by Colon, crashed while in the City of Newburgh, resulting in the death of one of its occupants, the District Attorney's Office said.

Both defendants agree to pay $2,180 in restitution for the damaged police car.

Hoovler thanked the Town of Newburgh Police Department and the state police for their investigation and the arrest of the defendants.

“Throwing vehicles from a moving van out onto the highway severely endangers not only the police but other motorists and pedestrians,” said Hoovler. “I commend the police officers who risked their lives to protect others. The death of this man was truly a senseless tragedy.”

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