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Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol catch thief who stole 75 pounds of almonds

By Mason White 11:19 AM February 20, 2013
Juan Ayala under arrest 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
A thief with a fetish for nuts was caught thanks to the help of the Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol, a citizen watch group in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York.

A man tried to flee with 75 pounds of almonds in Brooklyn, but soon dropped the heavy boxes while fleeing from police. The man ended up being detained by the Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol, police sources said.

Juan Ayala, 35, allegedly grabbed three 25-pound cases of nuts from a delivery van parked in Williamsburg on South 8th Street, near Bedford Avenue one afternoon, according to police reports.

He tried to flee with the loot, the sources said, but the 5-foot-8, 180 pound man ended up dropping the boxes on South 8th Street, police said.
The driver called 911, but Ayala managed to flee before the police could catch him.

But two hours later, Ayala smashed his car into a parked, unoccupied van on Wythe Avenue and South 8th Street, two blocks from the crime scene, police said.

A person spotted him trying to flee the scene of the accident and called the helpline of the Williamsburg Shomrim Patrol, a volunteer civilian patrol group.
The patrol group detained Ayala until police arrived. The driver of the van identified Ayala as the thief.

Authorities charged him with third-degree burglary, attempted petit theft and trespassing, as well as leaving the scene of an accident.
Ayala is being held on bail of $2,250, according to the court documents.