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Putnam Ave. man ran chop-shop: DA

Cops busted a Ridgewood man in an alleged attempt to sell stolen motorcycle frames and parts from an illegal chop shop in his home, according to the DA.
TimesLedger Newspapers

A Ridgewood man allegedly set up his own motorcycle chop-shop in his basement complete with hundreds of bike parts, according to Queens prosecutors.

The Queens district attorney announced that Phillip Dietrich, 43, of 60-91 Putnam Ave., was arrested and charged for operating the illegal shop May 10. He was arraigned on a criminal complaint charging him with first-degree auto stripping and other crimes for allegedly running a motorcycle chop shop out of his basement.

“This defendant’s alleged actions will not be tolerated in Queens County,” DA Richard Brown said. “Auto theft and related crimes are at historic lows and we must be vigilant in keeping them from rising.”

According to the district attorney, the charges stem from a search by police at the defendant’s home April 25, which yielded six motorcycle frames that had been reported stolen in Queens between 2007 and 2010.

Police also recovered seven frames with defaced vehicle identification numbers and hundreds of other motorcycle parts, including rims, gas tanks, front end forks, fenders, mirrors and high-end dismantling tools.

In addition, police recovered 15 methadone pills.

“At least six of the motorcycles allegedly found in the defendant’s basement had been reported stolen — leaving the rightful owners deprived of their property,” Brown said. “In addition, this type of illegal operation has no place in a residential neighborhood.”

Dietrich was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court and charged with auto stripping, criminal possession of stolen property, illegal possession of a vehicle identification number and criminal possession of a controlled substance, the DA said. Dietrich was ordered held on $1,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court June 13.

He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, the DA said.

According to officers in the 106th Precinct, a recent spike in crime in the area has underscored the need for more cops in neighborhoods like Ridgewood. At a recent meeting, Frank Dardani, head of the 106th Precinct Council, introduced 10 new officers to address the demand for police.

Grand larcenies in the precinct have increased steadily in 2012, according to police, and auto thefts like the ones allegedly perpetrated by Dietrich are becoming far too common.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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