Police in Jersey City are celebrating the successful break-up of a gang that has been robbing freight trains for more than a decade. The Conrail Boyz used night vision binoculars and other modern technology whilst stealing consumer goods and designer clothes worth millions of dollars.
According to Stephen Hanes, director of Norfolk Southern’s police force, members of the gang would jump on board slow-moving trains to search for valuable cargo. Others would pose as railway staff to find out where the trains were stopping en route, so that the goods could be unloaded. NS is still investigating whether a railway insider helped to tip off the gang to the movement of lucrative loads.
Hanes claimed that The Conrail Boyz was the ’largest single gang ever to attack North American railroads’. Their total haul is said to far surpass that achieved by the James Gang and other fabled US outlaws. One robbery in 2001 alone netted more than 17000 Sony Play Station units worth an estimated US$5m.
Some members had been arrested repeatedly over the years, but escaped long jail terms because they did not carry weapons. By July 10 the police had rounded up 13 people and were searching for 11 others.