Report: Want-to-be carjacker picks undercover DEA agent vehicle, now facing federal charges after getting caught


MANHATTAN, NY – According to a report from the New York Post, a want-to-be carjacker attempted to steal a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent’s car and is now facing federal charges after getting caught in the act.

On Friday, December 9th, just after midnight, the DEA agent had finished a shift in Manhattan and was stopped at a red light at 14th Street and Ninth Avenue when 32-year-old Zachary Bell approached the government-issued vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Manhattan Federal Court, when Bell approached the vehicle, he yelled at the agent:

“Get the (expletive) out of the car.”

Prosecutors said that at that moment, Bell, who is from Maplewood, New Jersey, reached toward his waistband as if he had a gun. That is when the driver, a seven-year DEA agent veteran assigned to the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, jumped into action.

The agent switched on the vehicle’s police lights, pulled out his own gun, hit Bell in the face, tackled him to the ground, and handcuffed him. The agent then called the police.

Responding officers found a gravity knife on Bell, who has been charged the attempted carjacking and assaulting a federal officer.

Bell does not have a criminal record and has never been convicted of a crime. He works at Hudson Yards. After being arrested, he was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries.

His attorney, Ariel Werner, said that he has “severe” facial injuries requiring surgery. Werner told the judge that the prosecutor described surveillance video of the incident to her that showed Bell approaching the driver-side door of the Jeep and waving his arms before walking after the car. She added:

“I think that we will come to find that this was a misunderstanding with very severe consequences. Based on what I have learned so far, I do not believe that the complaint is an accurate statement of what occurred.”

On Tuesday, December 13th, Bell was released on a $30,000 bond and as a condition of his release, he must refrain from using alcohol. He will also undergo drug testing and is not allowed to travel outside New York or New Jersey.

In Yonkers, New York, a carjacking on Saturday, December 17th, ended with a crash on a ramp to the George Washington Bridge.

According to police, three men assaulted the owner of a pickup truck at the BP gas station in Yonkers and pointed a gun at him before making off with the vehicle. Officers spotted the truck minutes later and pursued it into the Bronx.

The driver lost control of the truck on the I-87 Southbound ramp to the bridge, wrecking the car. One suspect was caught, but the other two ran off. This remains and active investigation.

According to reports, a 42-year-old woman had her Range Rover stolen while pumping gas at a Long Island service station and was dragged several feet during the brazen daylight carjacking.

Nassau County police stated that the victim was filling up her vehicle at the 76 Gas Station on Glen Cove Road in Glen Head shortly before 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 13th, when thieves pulled up next to her in a white Porsche Cayenne SUV.

Surveillance footage of the robbery shows the unidentified woman causally pumping gas when a man gets out of the SUV’s passenger side and jumps to getting behind the wheel of the women’s Range Rover.

Both vehicles then speed off, with the victim clinging to the side of her vehicle before falling off.

Police said the stolen vehicle stopped nearby at the intersection of Glen Cove Road and Glen Head Road. At that moment, the thief jumped out with the woman’s purse and laptop and hopped back into the Porsche Cayenne, which then sped off.

Both carjackers, including the driver of the Porsche, remain on the run. Nassau police said the woman suffered minored injuries and was treated at the scene.

In Liberty, New York, two minors were arrested for a carjacking on Friday, December 9th, after state troopers were dispatched to 26 Main Street for a report of a carjacking in progress.

A preliminary investigation states that the owner of the 2018 Subaru Forester was driving home when he was flagged down by a female who asked for a ride. The unknown female got into the car on the passenger side and began striking the operator of the vehicle in the face.

Another person then got into the backseat of the car and began hitting the operator. The driver was pushed out of the car and the two individuals fled the area in the vehicle.

Troopers were able to locate the vehicle traveling west on State Route 17 in the town of Thompson. A traffic stop was initiated and it was revealed that in addition to the suspects, there were three other minors in the car.

All were transported to the State Police barracks. Once there, it was determined that the other people in the vehicle were not involved in the theft of the vehicle. The two minors, who are siblings and who stole the car, have been charged with Robbery 2nd degree.

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