Two brothers were indicted on a laundry list of charges accusing them of running a car theft operation together in the Bronx, state Attorney General Letitia James said Thursday.
Ricky and Rahinier Paulino, ages 25 and 30 respectively, were charged in a 16-count indictment with crimes related to theft and possession of vehicles between January and October 2023, the attorney general said. Ricky Paulino was charged with grand larceny, and both brothers were charged with criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and conspiracy.
“For many New Yorkers, their car is their most valuable possession, and having it stolen can be devastating,” James said in a statement on Thursday. “These individuals used sophisticated methods to steal cars throughout New York City, but today we are bringing them to justice.”
According to the indictment, Ricky Paulino would steal the cars. He and “others,” -– the indictment does not detail who else was suspected to be working with him — would drive to where those vehicles were parked in a “follow car.” Once there, he would break into the car and reprogram its computer to gain access to it, the attorney general said.
“In a matter of minutes, [Ricky] Paulino was able to steal a vehicle without sounding alarms or drawing any attention, even in a dense urban setting,” according to a press release from James’ office. “Paulino was also able to reprogram the vehicle to stop recognizing the true owners’ electronic keys, so that their keys stopped working.”
The stolen cars were then taken to the Bronx, and on one occasion, a car was taken out of state to Massachusetts, according to the indictment.
Using covert cameras, tracking systems and other methods, investigators found that Ricky Paulino worked with Rahinier Paulino to sell a stolen vehicle in the Bronx, according to the press release.
An attorney for Ricky Paulino was unavailable to comment on Thursday. Attorney information for Rahinier Paulino was not yet available.
If convicted, Ricky Paulino faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, and Rahinier Paulino faces a maximum of seven years in prison.