A Ridgewood couple found an inventive way of spicing up their married lives, hitting various Queens retail outlets and allegedly stealing items out of shoppers' baby strollers.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, couple Luis Chango, 45, and Rosa Jerez, 37, showed exemplary partnership skills when they united as a team to snatch items from more than a dozen strollers since August, including cell phones, wallets, credit cards and cash.
In general, the pair worked together to distract young mothers, with one engaging the women in conversation while the other surreptitiously lurked over a sleeping baby to remove whatever valuables were tucked inside the pram. In one instance, Chango apparently "bent over a stroller and pulled a new iPhone out of the hands of the baby playing with it, causing the child to burst out crying." This particular grift is actually more common than you'd hope.
"With the holiday season fast approaching and retail outlets becoming crowded, shoppers should be especially mindful of pickpockets and purse snatchers," Brown said in a statement. "Shoppers should never leave bags or valuables unattended or hanging from strollers and they should always be aware of their surroundings. A successful pickpocket only needs seconds to accomplish his or her goal of parting you with your valuables."
Both Chango and Jerez were arraigned last night, and face charges of multiple counts of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, identity theft, endangering the welfare of a child and petit larceny.