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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
May 4, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
New Jersey State Police
- Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent

 

609-882-2000
Capt. Al Della Fave x6514
SFC Gerald Lewis x6516
A/Sgt. Stephen Jones x6513

 

New Jersey State Police “Operation Ninja”
Puts Brakes on Motorcycle Theft Ring

Bordentown – New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes today announced that criminal charges have been lodged against 20 individuals in the wake of a sweeping, 14-month investigation dubbed “Operation Ninja” that targeted a sophisticated tri-county motorcycle theft ring. The thefts took place mostly in Burlington, Mercer and Camden counties over the past two years. The ring, operating out of the Willingboro area, may be responsible for the theft of a couple hundred late-model, racing-style motorcycles. The accused men allegedly stamped new identification numbers on the bikes and created fraudulent documents in an attempt to hide the thefts.

According to Colonel Fuentes, detectives assigned to the State Police Auto Unit, with assistance from representatives of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, F.B.I., Pennsauken and Willingboro Police Departments and many other agencies, conducted the investigation. In early morning raids, 19 individuals were arrested. So far, 40 stolen motorcycles and two cars were recovered with an estimated value of more than $500,000.

“Today’s arrests, resulted from a concerted and comprehensive investigation by law enforcement of this motorcycle theft ring,” said Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. “Our department is taking direct aim at stolen vehicle schemes and will investigate, arrest and prosecute anyone involved in such activity, particularly when it endangers innocent lives.”

The New Jersey State Police Auto Unit began the investigation in February 2004, when detectives uncovered a string of motorcycle and ATV thefts. The thefts affected numerous towns in southern New Jersey, but appeared centered in the Willingboro area. In the spring of 2004, the F.B.I. and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office initiated a parallel “sting operation” into auto and motorcycle thefts in the Trenton area. A coordinated investigation continued for a short time with the federal probe ending in the early summer of 2004.

The State Police investigation continued and revealed an extensive criminal network committing thefts of racing-style motorcycles and ATV’s in several counties. The investigation eventually stretched into the states of Delaware, Virginia, New York, California and Georgia where several of the stolen motorcycles were sold.

“The Division of Criminal Justice and the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor assisted the State Police investigation through the preparation of arrest warrants and by providing information regarding potential insurance fraud,” said Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy. “While the theft and fraud schemes alleged in the arrest warrants impact the sale of motorcycles, the second and hidden crime, is that of insurance fraud. The Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will move to determine the amount of insurance fraud and will submit the appropriate information to the State Grand Jury.”

As a result of the New Jersey investigation, detectives have determined that at least an additional 12 stolen motorcycles were transported out-of-state and efforts are underway to recover those and other stolen vehicles. State Police detectives and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are coordinating efforts to recover stolen motorcycles in the states of Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Delaware, Georgia and California.

“We not only dismantled a criminal enterprise today, we have also eliminated a public safety concern,” said Major Gordon Coleman, Commander of the State Police Investigations Section. “In addition to motorcycle thefts, this group put the public in danger through their reckless riding on highways and through neighborhoods.”

Additionally, investigators recovered two stolen vehicles, a 2004 BMW X5 SUV, a 2005 Chrysler Cross-Fire and a .380 caliber handgun. The estimated value of the two recovered vehicles is $100,000.

Investigators are continuing to determine if purchasers of the stolen motorcycles were aware that they had been stolen.

  • Torray Murphy 29 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Kyle Bunn 27 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Ronald R. Crosland 27 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • John E. White 21 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Gregory C. Haygood 23 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Jamar L. Doggett 25 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Rodney M. Butler 30 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Jaesen R. Hensley 23 Browns Mill, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Kevi C. Williamson 29 Burlington, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Randolph L. Brolo 27 Lumberton, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Quentin O. Durden 27 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Aaron K. Auten 30 Burlington City, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Anthony B. Angelone 27 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Cory J. Carthan 31 Trenton, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Floyd B. Robertson 33 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Rodney J. West 31 Trenton, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Johnnie E. Kennedy 24 Trenton, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Janine C. Barnes 21 Edgewater Park, NJ Conspiracy/3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property
  • Anton S. Hall 26 Willingboro, NJ 3rd Degree Rec Stolen Property/Poss of Veh w/altered VIN

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