WHITE PLAINS — A police task force investigating a rash of car entries over the past several weeks arrested three 17-year-old city boys early Sunday after finding stolen property in their car.
“We set up an unmarked car and they hit on it,” Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said in announcing the arrests of Casey Corcoran of 2 Brad Lane, Benjamin Neubardt of 15 Walworth Terrace and Derek Diaz of 22 Myrtle St. “When they saw the detective sitting in the car, they tried to take off.”
Instead, they were stopped by other members of the task force, who found several GPS units on the floor of the car they were driving, along with other stolen items, police said.
Interviewed by detectives, the boys admitted that they had stolen the property Saturday night and that they had approached the unmarked police car with the intention of looking for more electronic devices to steal, police said.
Chong said investigators from the narcotics unit were working with police from the neighborhood conditions unit on the decoy operation in response to about 20 car break-ins in the city since April 1. He said the three teens are likely responsible for several of those cases, and possibly some in other nearby communities.
“We’re checking with all of the people who have reported thefts to see if any of their property was recovered, and we’re notifying police in nearby jurisdictions,” Chong said.
“This should send a message that this department will relentlessly pursue criminals that prey on our residents,” Chong said.
The investigation is continuing, he said.
“These are opportunistic thieves,” he said. “If it isn’t locked down, they take it. If it’s locked or not in sight, they go to the next available easy target.”
Corcoran, Neubardt and Diaz have each been charged with five counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, and one count of petty larceny, both misdemeanors.
Police said two victims have been located and identified their property.
Anyone who had items stolen from a vehicle in recent weeks in White Plains may call the Detective Division at 914-422-6200 to see if the property has been recovered.