Duo arrested for selling stolen cars to Bayonne residents, victims asked to speak up


A duo was arrest for selling stolen cars to Bayonne residents via a Facebook Marketplace scheme, with police asking other victims to speak up.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Devonte A. Thomas and Justin I. Wright, both 23 and of Staten Island, New York, are both charged with theft by deception (three counts for Thomas and one for Wright), while Wright is also charged with conspiracy, according to Police Capt. Eric Amato.

Additionally, Thomas is charged with four counts of forgery, four counts of wrongful impersonation, four counts of receiving stolen property, and obstructing a governmental function.

Thomas and Wright were taken into custody at approximately 9:40 p.m. on Saturday, March 16th, from the area of West 37th Street.

Since late last year, detectives have been investigating numerous incidents regarding the sale of stolen vehicles to unsuspecting buyers (victims) involving “Alazim Olasupo Odu” as the seller via Facebook Marketplace.

Detectives were contacted by a victim of one of the past incidents who advised the detectives that they were attempting to purchase a vehicle on Facebook Marketplace from a man they believe to be the same person that sold them a stolen car in the past.

They confirmed that the vehicle for sale was reported stolen out of Newark and quickly responded to West 37th Street, the location that the seller and buyer agreed upon to make the sale.

As the detectives conducted surveillance, they observed the vehicle that was to be sold parked on the street. A plain clothes detective then approached the vehicle and waited for the sellers to approach him.

Shortly after, two men, later identified as Thomas and Wright, approached the detective and opened the vehicle using a key fob in Thomas’ possession. At this time, several detectives approached them and identified themselves as police officers.

The actors immediately fled on foot but were quickly apprehended by detectives.

A search incident to Thomas’ arrest led to the recovery of a U.S. passport bearing the name “Alazim Olasupo Odu” and a search of the stolen vehicle led to the recovery of a fraudulent New York State vehicle title bearing the same name.

During the continued investigation at headquarters, Thomas was identified as the man involved in the following similar incidents of selling stolen motor vehicles and was charged accordingly.

On November 3rd, 2023, a victim reported that he had purchased a 2013 Infiniti from “Alazim Odu” via Facebook Marketplace for the price of $5,150. It was later determined that the vehicle had been reported stolen.

Then on January 16th, 2024, a male victim reported that he had purchased a 2019 Honda from a male, later identified as Thomas, for $10,000. that was later determined to be reported stolen out of Newark.

Two days later, a male victim reported that he had purchased a 2020 Honda from “Alazim Odu” via Facebook Marketplace for the price of $11,500 and it was later determined that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Elizabeth.

The Bayonne Police Detective Bureau believes that there are more victims of this scam perpetrated by Thomas, A.K.A. Alazim Odu that have not come forward, Amato added.

The Bayonne Police Department asks anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Thomas to contact the Bayonne Police Detective Bureau at 201-858-6925 and report the incident.

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