Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lucchese associate sentenced in Craigslist jewelry heists

It's another year of prison for the Craigslist Ring Worm.
Gerald DeGerolamo -- a low-level Lucchese thug already serving 5 and 1/2 years in prison for a similar engagement ring heist -- was sentenced today to another 1 to 3 years for stealing two more rings, including a 12 carat sapphire.
In both 2009 cases, DeGerolamo answered ads placed on Craigslist, posed as a buyer, then made off with jewelry worth in the tens of thousands of dollars after setting up meetings with the sellers in Greenwich Village.
In today's case, from the fall of 2009, DeGerolamo -- calling himself "Joey D," met three times with young divorcee Mary Nguyen, saying he was interested in buying two rings given to her by her ex-husband. Nguyen had advertised the rings as valued at $65,000.
The first two times he met Nguyen, DeGerolamo came up with excuses instead of cash. The third time, as they sat at a restaurant on Greenwich Avenue at 10th St., DeGerolamo excused himself to use the bathroom -- then vanished. Nguyen discovered that DeGerolamo had switched her valuable rings for worthless substitutes.
In the other theft, DeGerolamo, this time calling himself "John," robbed jilted would-be bride groom David Cushman -- a salesman who was selling a rejected, $30,000, 5.5 carat diamond engagement ring, again on Craigslist.
DeGerolamo lured Cushman to a Christopher Street vestibule in Dec. 2009 on the pretext of wanting to buy the ring for his "young fiancee." Instead, DeGerolamo blasted Cushman in the face with Mace, grabbed the ring box and tried to run off.
The two wound up tussling violently in the middle of Christopher Street -- with Cushman practically blinded by the chemicals burning his face. Cushman got his ring back, as the box had rolled into the middle of the street. But the divorcee never saw her rings again.
Today's sentence means DeGerolamo will serve at least the next six years in prison, a place he's used to, given his long and interesting rap sheet.
In 1989, DeGerolamo, his son, and another accomplice stole $3.7 million by taking off in an armored car he'd been hired to drive. The following year, he absconded off the grounds of a minimum-security federal prison.
In 1992, he and two associates were caught in the midst of a plot to steal cash in yet another armored car heist -- a crime he served a decade behind bars for.


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