Bronx man charged with stealing NYCHA construction equipment 

The New York City Housing Authority already doesn’t have the funds it needs to repair and maintain its properties. Not having its construction vehicles adds insult to injury.

Last week, prosecutors unsealed a complaint against a Bronx man accused of stealing construction vehicles from the city’s public housing agency, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced. Maximo Nunez, 28, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government property and one count of theft of government property.

The alleged scheme started around the beginning of 2021 and ran for nearly two years, according to prosecutors. On at least 13 occasions, Nunez and his co-conspirators allegedly stole no fewer than 16 construction vehicles from a dozen NYCHA developments across the city.

The heavy-duty equipment is used by NYCHA for construction and maintenance purposes. But when NYCHA employees went home at the end of the day, Nunez and his co-conspirators allegedly came out at night to steal the vehicles, often using large trucks so they could allegedly steal more than one vehicle at a time.

Nunez and the others then allegedly sold the vehicles to individuals with no knowledge of the thefts, getting rid of vehicles that can retail from anywhere between $25,000 and $65,000. Law enforcement was able to recover one of the vehicles, using GPS tracking devices in its investigation.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams referred to the alleged crimes as a “brazen scheme.” A trial date hasn’t been set for Nunez yet, but he faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and up to 10 years on the theft charge.

NYCHA already faces enough adversity in repairing its properties without its construction equipment being stolen in the dark of night. The public agency often relies on private companies to help finance repairs, such as the $1.35 billion it borrowed at the start of last year through the PACT program.

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