Police have busted a street gang that beat and robbed victims in the Bronx in a series of violent home invasions, often using teen girls to gather information on targets before they would strike, then later posting photos on Facebook of the stolen cash and jewelry.
Authorities said Thursday that the 11 people arrested carried out approximately two home invasions each month over two years of terror in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. The gang, known as 6 Wild, posted Facebook photos showing shoeboxes and suitcases stuffed with cash and goods, and posed for others with the stolen money themselves.
Prosecutors said the gang targeted people they believed were drug dealers, but in at least three instances, were mistaken and robbed innocent people -- threatening them with guns, beating them with heavy objects and choking them.
They would send teen girls to befriend their victims and gather intelligence on valuables and the best time to strike. On the day of the robberies, the girls would help the robbers break into the homes.
In the three instances where innocent people were robbed, the robbers stole cash, jewelry, cell phones and other valuables.
In one case, a man was beaten unconscious with a frying pan and a door from an entertainment center.
New York City's Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said in a statement that the group carried out "vicious assaults, robberies and drug dealing."
"Each and every activity they were involved in threatened the safety of the people in their community," she said.
The gang also stole from drug dealers -- in one heist, they made off with more than 6 pounds of cocaine. Prosecutors say the gang would then repackage the drugs for sale.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said: "The 6 Wild crew thought that by using young women, juvenile boys and stashed guns they would evade police. They were wrong."
Those arrested face multiple charges, including conspiracy, robbery, assault and menacing.