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7 indicted in long-running motorcycle theft operation

Court documents say they stole at least 136 bikes, altered serial numbers and sold them on Craigslist

By Rob Shikina

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:19 a.m. HST, Aug 26, 2010



Seven people have been indicted by an Oahu grand jury in connection with a large motorcycle theft ring in Waipahu.

Five of the suspects -- brothers Toan and Thang Nguyen, both 26; Frances-Nicolette Freitas, 25; Tiffany Nakata, 24; and Freddie Woods-Vierra, 22 -- were arrested and released Tuesday on a total of $650,000 bail. A bench warrant was issued for two other suspects, Micah Reichman and Ali Nguyen, who had not been arrested by yesterday afternoon.

According to the indictment unsealed yesterday, the theft ring operated from March 2007 to February 2009 at Twins Auto Body in Waipahu.

The operation involved stealing motorcycles on Oahu, replacing serial numbers from legitimate motorcycles bought at mainland junkyards, and reselling the bikes to unknowing buyers through Craigslist.

The crime ring may have involved at least 136 motorcycles and scammed more than $500,000 from the owners, insurance companies and buyers, the city prosecutor's office said.

Thang Nguyen, who owned the auto body business, accepted motorcycles Woods-Vierra stole, then repainted them. Using legitimate serial numbers from other motorcycle bodies, he falsely registered and got titles for the stolen motorbikes, then sold them, the indictment said.

Woods-Vierra deliver the stolen motorcycles to the brothers and Ali Nguyen for money, documents said.

Toan Nguyen ground off serial numbers, then registered them under false serial numbers and resold them through Craigslist, documents said.

Nakata and Freitas falsely registered and received titles to stolen motorcycles in their names, while Nakata sold several of them, court documents said.

Ali Nguyen received stolen motorcycles, ground off serial numbers, falsely registered the motorcycles and sold them, the documents said.

The 34-count indictment includes charges of money laundering, first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit theft, first- and second-degree theft, unlawful operation of a racketeering enterprise and tampering with a government record.






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