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Press Release

Six Indicted for Interstate Theft Scheme Along East Coast

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendants Allegedly Stole More Than $800,000 in Goods, Including Merchandise from At Least 130 Retail Stores in 13 States

A five-count indictment was unsealed earlier today variously charging six defendants with interstate transportation of stolen property, interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicle and conspiracy counts, in connection with a 20-month scheme to steal rental cars from Hertz Global Holdings (Hertz) and other car companies, and merchandise from the retail stores Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (Lowe’s) and The Home Depot, Inc. (Home Depot).  Defendants Christopher World, Lovell Ambrister and Hassen Lewis were arrested this morning, during which a gun with an extended magazine was found, and will be arraigned later today at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn before United States Magistrate Judge Marcia M. Henry.  Defendants Trent Dance and Von Vincent are detained on other charges in Valhalla, New York and Auburn, New York, respectively, and they will be arrested and arraigned at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn at a later date.  Defendant William Harvin is still at large.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI) announced the charges.

“As alleged, the instruction manual for these defendants was simple: commit crimes at every stage, and repeat. They stole over $300,000 in cars to drive to stores, which they robbed of over $500,000 in merchandise – and replayed this scheme at least 130 times across the East Coast,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “Let this serve as a warning: retail theft has real consequences.”

Mr. Peace thanked the New York State Police; the Connecticut Department of Public Safety; the New York City Police Department; the Freeport Police Department, Freeport, New York; the South Burlington Police Department, South Burlington, Vermont; the Vestal Police Department, Vestal, New York; and the Wappingers Falls Police Department, Wappingers Falls, New York, for their assistance with the investigation.

"These six defendants allegedly attempted to benefit by stealing from home improvement stores up and down the East Coast. Today they have found out what the FBI has proven repeatedly—crime doesn’t pay. The arrests serve as a warning to anyone who believes they can pull off and profit from robberies– the FBI will ensure your crime spree is brought to an end," stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith. 

As alleged in the government’s court filings, from about April 2022 to December 2023, the defendants stole rental cars from Hertz and others along the East Coast, drove those cars from New York to various branch stores of Lowe’s and Home Depot along the East Coast, and stole home improvement merchandise, often Lutron lighting products, for resale in New York.  As a result of the scheme, the defendants together stole at least $516,000 in merchandise from 71 Lowe’s branches and 59 Home Depot branches in 13 states, spanning from South Carolina to Maine.  At least 21 of the stores were located in the Eastern District of New York.  Each of the defendants personally participated in dozens of the thefts, and many of the defendants face arrest warrants for their thefts in multiple states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina.  The defendants also stole at least $320,000 in rental cars in four states, including New York.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  The defendants face a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment for each of the interstate transportation counts and a maximum of 5 years’ imprisonment for the conspiracy count.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorney Victor Zapana is in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Eileen Rosado.

The Defendants:

CHRISTOPHER WORLD (also known as “Birdo”)
Age:  22
Brooklyn, New York

LOVELL AMBRISTER (also known as “Stali”)
Age:  22
Bronx, New York

TRENT DANCE (also known as “Tre Savv”)
Age:  21
Brooklyn, New York

WILLIAM HARVIN (also known as “Pook”)
Age:  24
Brooklyn, New York

HASSEN LEWIS (also known as “Fan Boy”)
Age:  22
Brooklyn, New York

Age:  22
Brooklyn, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 24-CR-7 (AMD)


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass
U.S. Attorney's Office

Updated January 18, 2024

Indictment [PDF, ]
Firearms Offenses