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Union County Man Admits Role in Multi-State Luxury Car Theft Conspiracy


By: Richard L. Smith 

A Union County man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in a conspiracy aimed at stealing and transporting luxury vehicles across state lines.


U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger made this announcement today, shedding light on the case that has spanned multiple states.

The defendant in question, 29-year-old Mr. Malik Baker from Vauxhall, New Jersey, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court.

Baker faced charges related to conspiring to transport stolen vehicles in interstate commerce and receiving a stolen vehicle that had crossed state lines following the theft.

Baker's fellow conspirators, namely Hakeem Smith, Nafique Goodwyn, and Bilal Cureton, had previously pleaded guilty to related charges.

Smith was sentenced to 41 months in prison on April 25, 2023, while sentencing is still pending for Goodwyn and Cureton.

According to documents and court statements:

Since as early as July 2019, Baker and his co-conspirators were involved in stealing or conspiring to steal at least ten luxury vehicles from various towns across New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

These stolen cars were concealed at a location in Irvington.

Among the stolen vehicles were high-end cars like a 2019 BMW X4 M40i, a 2017 BMW Alpina, a 2017 Maserati GranTurismo, a 2018 Range Rover, a 2019 Porsche Cayenne, a 2017 Mercedes S550, a 2019 Rolls Royce, a 2019 Land Rover, a 2019 Mercedes Maybach, a 2014 Lexus GS, a 2017 BMW M4, and a 2017 Mercedes AMG S63.

The theft ring not only stole these luxury cars but also used them to facilitate additional car thefts. In one instance, they utilized a stolen Maserati GranTurismo to steal a Range Rover and a Porsche Cayenne.

When law enforcement attempted to stop the Maserati, it accelerated and crashed into a police vehicle head-on. The suspects then fled the scene in another stolen vehicle. 

Law enforcement efforts led to the recovery of one of the stolen cars in a shipping container at the Newark port, intended for shipment to Ghana, Africa.

Baker's guilty plea involves charges of conspiracy to transport stolen vehicles, carrying a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison.

Additionally, he faces a charge of receiving stolen vehicles, which could lead to a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison.

Both charges may also result in a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses, whichever is greater.

Baker's sentencing is scheduled for March 7, 2024.