NYPD detective busted in $10M theft spree

NYPD detective busted in $10M theft spreeNew York Post – by Selim Algar

A crooked NYPD detective was among a prolific crew of robbers who stole more than $10 million in cash and property during a three-year thieving spree on Long Island, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Alleged dirty cop Rafael Astacio and cohorts Victor Arias, Michael Figueroa, Nikitas Margiellos and Leonard Ripka were all charged with conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen property in connection with dozens of heists that made use of sophisticated technology including cell phone jammers and GPS tracking devices, papers state.  

The gang stole $2 million in cash from the office of a Nassau County plastic surgeon and took 45,000 pairs of pricey sunglasses worth $3 million, officials said.

“The defendant Astacio’s actions make clear that he was a cop in name only, having sold his badge and his honor in exchange for his share of their ill-gotten gains,” said United States Attorney Loretta Lynch.

The crew used blow torches, crowbars, wire cutters and sledge hammers to access homes and businesses across Long Island, according to court papers.

Astacio served as a lookout and even used his law enforcement status to access protected FBI databases to research marks, authorities said.

He was stripped of his badge after his arrest.

Astacio faces 17 years in prison if convicted while his criminal colleagues face 15 years each. They are due to be arraigned Thursday in Central Islip.


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