JFK Airport Hit Again In $6 Million Heist

Two former New York JFK truck drivers and a Delta Air Lines employee pled not guilty to a $6 million heist of luxury goods from the airport this week. Prosecutors allege they showed up with paperwork for the goods, bearing the flight details and serial numbers for the items, and they drove off with their haul. Destination: a “defunct beauty shop in Queens.”

[T]he men had used fake paperwork to cart off more than 4,000 real pieces of luxury merchandise, prosecutors said. They were caught in June when the police raided the Candi World Beauty Bar, the closed salon where the stolen merchandise was stashed, and interrupted a sale, prosecutors said.

…Prosecutors said they stole $804,000 worth of Prada merchandise in January, and then in May, they hauled off $5.3 million in other high-end accessories, from Gucci sneakers and socks to Chanel espadrilles, necklaces and handbags.

One of the defendants has been to prison for this exact same scheme at Newark, with forged documents giving him clearance to take a truck full of Chanel and Hermes items. The scheme didn’t work the first time, and didn’t work this time. Will he go for a third?

Given the location and the amount, the case instantly brings to mind the 1978 Lufthansa job where nearly $6 million was taken at New York JFK, then the largest cash robbery ever in the United States.

The movies The 10 Million Dollar Getaway and The Big Heist were made about the job and it featured prominently in Goodfellas:

The perpetrators of the 1978 theft job never faced punishment. In 2014 a high-ranking member of the Bonanno crime family was put on trial. But then man, by then 78 years old, was acquitted.

Of course $6 million was worth a lot more in 1978, and this time the perps were caught.

(HT: Jonathan W.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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