2 Stratford Men Charged with Federal Car Theft Offenses
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that on December 22, 2020, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging CHRISTOPHER MULKERN, also known as “Chucky,” 21, and EDWIN CORDERO, 20, both of Stratford, with federal car theft offenses.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, the FBI, Connecticut State Police and local police are investigating multiple car theft rings in Connecticut. Mulkern, Cordero and others have stolen numerous motor vehicles, and used the stolen vehicles to travel throughout Connecticut and to neighboring states to steal other vehicles and the valuables inside, including credit cards, cellular telephones, and firearms. Mulkern and Cordero typically frequented upper middleclass neighborhoods to go “car-checking” or “jigging,” which involves an attempt to open the door of a motor vehicle and, if successful, steal the vehicle and/or valuables inside.
It is alleged that, on December 1, 2020, Mulkern and Cordero stole a Porsche Panamera from a residence in Westport, Connecticut. Shortly after midnight on December 2, law enforcement in Westerly, Rhode Island, identified the stolen Porsche and attempted to stop the car. The Porsche drove recklessly, at speeds of at least 86 mph, between Rhode Island and Connecticut, and evaded police who, for safety reasons, were forced to terminate pursuit.
It is further alleged that, at approximately 4 a.m. on December 2, Mulkern, Cordero and others used the stolen Porsche to steal a Dodge Challenger from a residence in Milford, Connecticut. In the evening of December 2, Stratford Police spotted and attempted to stop the Porsche. During the pursuit, the Porsche rammed a car stopped at a red light at an intersection, drove up on the sidewalk and through the red light, and then struck a second vehicle, causing the second vehicle to flip onto its roof. The damaged Porsche then traveled on I-95 into Bridgeport, where Mulkern and Cordero were apprehended as they attempted to enter another stolen Audi A4 that was parked on Gregory Street.
It is alleged that a search of the stolen Audi revealed approximately 13 key fobs for other vehicles, and a search of the Porsche revealed five cellphones. In addition, Mulkern possessed two stolen credit cards, and Cordero possessed a key fob for the stolen Dodge, which was subsequently located parked on Main Street in Bridgeport.
Mulkern has been detained since December 2. Cordero, who was released after his state arrest, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on December 15 and is currently released on a $30,000 bond. Mulkern and Cordero are scheduled for arraignment on January 6 at 1 p.m. via videoconference.
The indictment charges Mulkern and Cordero with one count of transportation of a stolen vehicle and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle. Both charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Connecticut State Police and the Stratford, Milford, Stonington, Westport, Bridgeport, New Haven, Meriden, and Westerly (R.I.) Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah P. Karwan.