Former truckers busted for swiping $6 million in designer goods from JFK Airport

A pair of former JFK Airport truckers swiped more than $6 million in designer goods from the Queens airport without flashing a gun or firing a single shot, authorities said Thursday.

David Lacarriere, 33, of Manhattan, and Gary McArthur, 43, of Queens, hatched the elaborate scheme that turned out more profitable than the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist — where $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewelry were taken from a cargo building — and a lot less violent.

The two men used their knowledge of airport procedures and carefully crafted fake documents to convince air cargo workers that they were responsible for transporting goods that had just been flown into the airport, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said Thursday.

Lacarriere, McArthur and co-conspirator Davon Davis, 32, hit the same air cargo importer twice and drove off with pallets of Chanel handbags, Gucci purses, Prada bags and designer sunglasses, sneakers and clothing, Katz said.

“(Lacarriere and McArthur) used forged documents and their insider knowledge as former airport workers to steal air cargo,” Katz said.

“Of course our airports must be safe and secure for travelers, but they also must be trusted by international companies transporting cargo to our region — especially during a pandemic when our City needs PPE, test kits, medical supplies and equipment.”

The suspects had previously robbed the same air cargo importer in January and May, authorities said.

Each time, they would march into the importer’s receiving office and hand over forged documents authorizing the release of the merchandise. The fake release forms always had accurate bill and flight details for shipments containing the designer goods, prosecutors said.

The crew would then drive the luxury merchandise to a shuttered beauty salon on Guy R. Brewer Blvd. in Jamaica, where the items were resold, prosecutors said.

The trucks were always found empty a few days later scattered across Queens, covered in bleach to prevent any collection of fingerprints and DNA, said prosecutors.

The Port Authority Police Department, with help from the FBI and Queens DA, tracked down the suspects to the beauty salon in June and caught an intermediary selling more than 100 Chanel handbags and other items valued at $300,000 to defendant Alan Vu.

Investigators found “mountains” of boxes in the beauty salon filled with stolen merchandise, prosecutors said.

More than $2.5 million in clothing, handbags and jewelry were recovered, with some still wrapped in packaging, authorities said.

Port Authority Chief of Security Officer John Bilich said the task force "displayed unrelenting dedication and commitment to solving this case and making sure that the perpetrators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Lacarriere, McArthur and Davis were indicted Wednesday on charges of grand larceny, conspiracy, criminal possession of stolen property and falsifying business records. They were both ordered held without bail, and are due back in court on Dec. 7.

The three face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count, prosecutors said.

Vu, 51, was caught in New Jersey and is awaiting extradition to New York. He was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and conspiracy, and faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted.

Two other suspects are still being sought, prosecutors said.


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