A group of Wild West-style robbers more than $1 million taking money from couriers who were filling up private ATMs across the city, prosecutors said Wednesday.
According to prosecutors, the Brooklyn crew of seven men spent more than a year targeting cash couriers, sometimes staging their heists by flattening the tires of their victims. While the driver was fixing the flat, the thieves then stole bags of cash and ran away, prosecutors said.
This was a crew that was sort of operating the way they do in the movies, said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
The men allegedly staked out two Brooklyn ATM warehouses from December 2017 to June 2019 one in Vinegar Hill, the other in east Williamsburg where drivers would pick up money to distribute to ATMs across the city. When the delivery cars left the warehouses, the men followed with a lookout car, a getaway vehicle and a theft car, and hit the unsuspecting couriers, prosecutors said.
In one case in March 2018, the men followed a courier to his Queens home from east Williamsburg after withdrawn $480,000 at the warehouse. When the man got home and opened his garage, one of the thieves got into his car and stole the money and the vehicle, according to the District Attorney.
Surveillance video released by prosecutors from another incident, one member of the crew is seen opening the back door of a parked vehicle at a gas station and removing a heavy box, which he lays down on the ground, and then gets in a car that drives away. Another car pulls up at the gas station and a different man picks the box up, puts it in his car and drives away.
Seven Brooklyn men were indicted in the case, which included 15 robberies across the city.
Four were accused in Brooklyn court on Wednesday. William Jackson, 47, Lance Spearman, 39, Jamel Cooper, 44 and Sherrod Coleman, 45 were brought before Judge Dineen Riviezzo in Brooklyn, and hit with charges including conspiracy and grand robbery but none of which are bail eligible under new state laws.
This is not a qualifying offense under the law. It’s very different from what would have perhaps occurred before the law had changed, Riviezzo said before releasing the men under supervised release. Two of the defendants were immediately rearrested by the NYPD on other charges.
“Suck my d–‐, how about that?” Coleman yelled at reporters as he entered the courtroom.