Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2 Arrested in a String of Red light Camera thefts

From Eyewitness News by Sandra Bookman:

A pair of thieves are accused of an elaborate scheme to steal dozens of New York City's red-light cameras. The allegedly did it to pay for their heroin addiction.

At 86th Street and Seventh Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Wednesday, a crew was busy installing a new camera. The old one was stolen, the first in a string of thefts.

Over a nearly four-week period, 22 of the cameras were swiped from locations in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.

Last Sunday morning, a worker at a building supply company along Coney Island Avenue told police he saw two people in a pickup truck pull up and take something from a camera box.

The witness' description of the vehicle, with its own cherry picker for reaching the cameras, along with the discovery of several of the stolen cameras at a well-known local electronics store and security video of one of the suspects hocking the cameras, led police to 45-year-old Anthony Cintorrino and a 29-year-old Tara Laburt.

Investigators say Cintorrino previously worked as a subcontractor for Mulvihill ICS, the company that installs and maintains the cameras for the Department of Transportation.

"We've never seen this occur before," a company spokesperson said.

The police department wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We'll be talking to them to see ff they can make certain an event like this is more difficult to pull off," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The suspects have pleaded not guilty to grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. All of the cameras have been replaced.

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