Bandits nabbed in Dyker Heights, charged with theft of $1 million in frozen eels
Trio Slipped Up and Was Caught Trying to Sell the Seafood Delicacy to a Dim Sum Restaurant
Thou shalt not st-eel.
Three not-so-slick thieves were busted near Brooklyn’s Chinatown Monday and charged with stealing more than $1 million worth of frozen eels from an Elizabeth, N.J. shipping terminal, police said.
The trio — who were identified as Wei Da Li, 39, Sheauloon Yat, 51, and Fa Deng, 36 — were charged with criminal possession of stolen property and were slated to be arraigned Tuesday.
According to cops, back on June 1 the three had used fake paperwork, supposedly from Mars Global Trading, to pick up a shipment of 2,000 boxes of eels from the terminal.
They then drove the boxes of slithery seafood, worth a total of $1.04 million, to Brooklyn, police said.
The bandits thought they had slipped past authorities, but their plan unraveled when the owner of Mars Global Trading contacted police and worked with them to devise a sting operation to get the stolen eels back.
The sting was set up at a dim sum restaurant at 66th Street and Eighth Avenue in Dyker Heights. The alleged thieves were approached at a warehouse where they had stashed the stolen haul by a man who said he wanted to buy a large quantity of eels, which are prized as a delicacy in the Chinatown neighborhood in nearby Sunset Park.
When the trio drove 200 boxes of the eels to the Dyker Heights location, they were nabbed by cops. Another 745 boxes — containing shrink-wrapped packages labeled “BBQ Eels”— were recovered in the warehouse, police said.
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