2010-10-15 / Front Page

Local Nabbed In Two-Week Stealing Spree

By Howard Schwach
A 25-year-old Far Rockaway man has been ordered held on $50,000 bail following his arraignment on grand larceny and other charges in connection with an alleged two-week crime wave during which he is accused of stealing eight Ford vans and one short school bus and selling them to a Nassau salvage dealer.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown identified the defendant as Jason Kortbawi, 25, of 1115 Gipson Street.

Kortbawi was arraigned on October 8 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Lenora Gerald in Kew Gardens on 14 counts of third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fifth-degree conspiracy.

Brown said, “The defendant is accused of stealing vans off the streets of southeast Queens in the dead of night. The theft of these vans has impacted greatly upon the livelihood of their owners who rely upon them to carry out their construction or private transportation businesses.”

The DA added that, according to the charges, Kortbawi stole seven Ford vans that were parked on various streets in Queens and one van and one short school bus parked on a Brooklyn street between September 13, 2010 and September 24, 2010. The defendant allegedly sold each of the vehicles for $500.

According to police sources, the vans were transported to Long Island, where they were sold to A. Rossiello Auto and Truck Parts at 20 Industrial Park in Island Park.

The District Attorney further stated that, according to the criminal complaint, the defendant’s vehicle was in the vicinity of eight of the thefts according to a Global Positioning System device attached to his vehicle on September 9, 2010, pursuant to a court order.

Kortbawi faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. He was ordered to return to court on October 21.

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