A 51-year-old Uber driver was caught stealing $5,000 worth of jewelry from a Jewish couple, who took a ride with him from Borough Park to Williamsburg 9 days ago, JP has learned.
The driver, identified as Morales Juan, 51, from Brooklyn was driving an Orthodox Jewish couple in their 30’s on Friday April 3rd from the Borough Park section of Brooklyn to Williamsburg to celebrate the first two days of the Passover holiday. Two hours after they left the car the woman realized that her bag of jewelry is missing, but they couldn’t contact the police since it was after sundown.
On Sunday after sunset, the couple contacted Juan who denied taking the jewelry. After another attempt on Monday, the driver agreed to come down to a location in Borough Park and return the the jewelry in exchange for a cash reward.
The family then contacted Borough Park Shomrim and asked for assistance while they are about to meet the driver. Shomrim alerted the NYPD’s 66th precinct to be on alert.
On Monday evening, the Uber driver arrived at the set location to return the jewelry in exchange for cash. But the couple realizing that some jewelry was missing winked to the police officers who were on standby to arrest him.
Police took Juan into custody, and after further investigation it was revealed that he had already sold parts of the jewelry for a local pawn shop. Detectives went down to the pawn shop where they discovered the missing jewelry and returned it the family.
Juan was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
After learning of the story on Sunday, JP reached out to Uber for a comment, but we were told that the company will conduct an internal investigation, since they have not received a single complaint or a copy of the police report.
After conducting a full investigation Uber informed us that the driver has been suspended.
“We apologize to our riders for this experience. Uber is committed to maintaining the highest standard and have removed this driver from the platform. We stand ready to assist the authorities in any investigation,” Lane Kasselman, head of communications for North America, told JP in an emailed statement. “The driver-partner identified in this report was operating on the uberBLACK platform and had passed a TLC background check.”