Saturday, 25 February 2012

Street gang leader accused of organising Hackensack jewellery heist is in federal custody


 fugitive leader of a street gang that allegedly masterminded the robbery of a Hackensack jewelry shop is in federal custody for his role in dozens of violent crimes, authorities said Wednesday. Devon Rodney’s New York City-based Folk Nation gang orchestrated the 2009 smash-and-grab robbery of the Lee Perla jewelry store at The Shops at Riverside mall, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn said in a press release. The gang is also allegedly responsible for at least four homicides, three attempted homicides and six robberies. The victims included a 10-year-old who was shot and injured during a turf war, authorities said. Authorities say the gang also robbed people after using Internet ads to lure them to secluded spots, and its members have clashed with New York City’s versions of the Crips and Bloods street gangs. No one was hurt during the Hackensack robbery. In that case, three young men smashed display counters with hammers and stole more than $400,000 in luxury watches as the employees cowered in a back room, Hackensack Police Capt. Thomas Salcedo said. One of the alleged robbers tripped as he was fleeing to a minivan parked in front of the mall and was arrested by an off-duty police officer who was working as a security guard for another store, Salcedo said. The arrests of his two accomplices soon followed. They implicated a fourth man, telling police he was a gang member who had put them up to the crime, Salcedo said. “This guy was going to use these guys as his mules, to do the work for him,” Salcedo said. “They would take a small cut apiece and he would keep the majority himself.” Rodney’s name was not brought up during the investigation, Salcedo said. Two of the men charged for the robbery were 17 at the time and were sentenced to juvenile detention, Salcedo said. Kevin Belle, who was 19, was sent to jail with $100,000 bail. All three men were from Brookyln, Salcedo said. He could not immediately say whether sentences have been completed. Charges filed against the alleged gang member, Sean Robinson were not immediately available.


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