Attorney general: 2 Bronx men charged with 16 crimes related to vehicle theft ring
Attorney General Letitia James says two men behind a car theft ring in the Bronx now face over a dozen charges each.
Investigators say that the two brothers, 30-year-old Rahinier Paulino and 25-year-old Ricky Paulino, were strategically targeting vehicles and breaking into them without sounding the alarm.
Photos from the attorney general’s office appear to show Ricky Paulino in the driver’s seat of a stolen Honda CR-V.
The indictment states that the string of robberies took place from January to October of this year. It states that Ricky Paulino stole at least four Honda vehicles in New York City.
The investigation revealed that the stolen cars were identified and singled out, reportedly followed by Ricky Paulino and others in a “follow car."
Ricky Paulino spotted in a stolen Honda CR-V. (credit: Attorney General Letitia James' office).
Ricky Paulino would then break into the vehicle and reprogram the vehicle’s computer system to gain control of it, authorities say. Once inside of the vehicle, he would also allegedly reprogram the vehicle to stop recognizing the true owners’ electronic keys.
Investigators say the Paulino brothers were working together to sell one of the stolen vehicles in the Bronx. Authorities also say one of the car thefts took place in Massachusetts, where the stolen vehicle was later observed and identified.
According to the NYPD, car thefts in New York City are on the rise. Over 5,000 stolen vehicles have been reported in the Bronx in 2023, up 30% from 2022.
The NYPD’s 49th Precinct now has auxiliary officers actively alerting car owners to be on the lookout for thieves.