Car thieves arrested after answering phone and demanding ransom, cops say

Hoboken police say two people were arrested Saturday after demanding money for the return of a car stolen at 13th and Washington streets while the owner delivered foodGoogle   HOBOKEN -- Two people were arrested in Hoboken on Saturday, after police...

Car thieves arrested after answering phone and demanding ransom, cops say

Hoboken police say two people were arrested Saturday after demanding money for the return of a car stolen at 13th and Washington streets while the owner delivered foodGoogle   HOBOKEN -- Two people were arrested in Hoboken on Saturday, after police...

27 February 2017 Monday 12:57
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Car thieves arrested after answering phone and demanding ransom, cops say

Hoboken police say two people were arrested Saturday after demanding money for the return of a car stolen at 13th and Washington streets while the owner delivered foodGoogle  

HOBOKEN -- Two people were arrested in Hoboken on Saturday, after police said one of them stole a car with the keys and a phone left inside while the owner made a food delivery, then answered the owner's call and demanded a ransom for the car's return.

Hoboken Police officers dispatched to the area of 13th and Washington streets were told by the owner that he had left his car unattended, with the keys in the ignition, while he made the delivery, only to discover the car missing when he returned, police said.

Police said the owner told the officers he had also left his phone in the car, a 2002 gray Nissan Quest, and that he called it using another phone, hoping someone would answer. Someone did, said police: the car thief, demanding money for the car's return.

What the thievs did not know, police said, was that the owner then contacted police, and that responding officers and detectives planned to be on hand when the car was delivered.

After the car was returned to a prearranged location, at 8th and Adams streets in Hoboken, police arrested the two men who returned it.

Fancisco Torres, 30, of Jersey City was charged with receiving stolen property, bail jumping and conspiracy to commit extortion. Laluz Barbara, 29, also of Jersey City, was charged with burglary, bail jumping and conspiracy.      

Both were placed in the Hudson County Correctional Center, police said.

Steve Strunsky may be reached at sstrunsky@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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