HAMPSTEAD — Several men have been prosecuted for a multistate conspiracy to steal and sell excavators, jet skis, boats, ATVs and trailers from businesses — including one in Hampstead — according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Rhode Island.
Investigators say between November 2019 and July 2020, more than $700,000 worth of merchandise was taken from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
That includes two jet skis, a mini-ATV and three side-by-sides stolen from daSilva Motorsports in Hampstead during July 2020, according to police. They said the items were hauled away in rented and stolen trucks.
Rhode Island police said the ATV was discovered on Gallup Street in Providence and towed to an impound facility. Police say it was subsequently stolen again from the impound.
Investigations launched by the Johnston and North Providence, Rhode Island, police departments were eventually joined by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force. Those efforts merged with parallel investigations by Rhode Island and Connecticut state police, as well as others in Easton, Massachusetts, and Hampstead.
A cumulative list of stolen goods includes three Bobcat excavators, 10 jet skis, four boats, eight ATVs and 10 trailers, the various departments reported.
Investigators said many of the stolen items were stored in Providence, Johnston, Warwick, North Providence, Scituate, and Glocester, Rhode Island. However, several were hauled to Florida to be sold.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Rhode Island announced Monday that Jared Santiago, 28, of Providence, admitted in federal court that he was a participant in the conspiracy.
In December 2019, he said he and others stole two boats, a 24-foot boat valued at $102,065, and a 22-foot boat valued at $90,914, from Don’s Marina in Tiverton, Rhode Island, and transported one of the boats to Sarasota, Florida, according to the statement.
Similarly, on Dec. 21, 2020, Luis Morales, 37, of Providence, admitted that on July 17, 2020, he drove his pick-up truck to a dealership where he and others stole a 2020 Yamaha watercraft, a 2019 Can-Am Maverick Sport off-road vehicle, and two trailers, according to the statement. Records show he also described in court how on July 20, 2020, he drove his pick-up truck to another dealership and stole three jet skis.
Seven other defendants, including the accused leader of the conspiracy, Jose Montes, a Jose Rivera, aka “Tuto,” 36, of Cranston, are awaiting trial.