Would-Be Car Thief Thwarted by Snowdrift, Police Say

By Katie Honan on January 9, 2014 6:59am 

 A pile of snow stopped a would-be car thief from driving off, police said.
A pile of snow stopped a would-be car thief from driving off, police said.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

JACKSON HEIGHTS — Now he'll have plenty of time to cool his heels behind bars.

A hapless car thief who tried to swipe a car after the owner stepped away for a moment to feed a parking meter got caught in last week's freshly fallen snow as he tried to drive away, police said.

Willness Ramos, 32, is accused of hopping into the 2012 Toyota Camry, which was parked on the busy intersection of 74th Street and 37th Road, about 12:20 p.m Friday, just hours after a major snowstorm hit the city with a wintry blast.

The owner of the car hadn't locked the door and had left the key in the ignition while he put money in a nearby Muni-Meter, according to police.

Ramos tried to drive away but was blocked by a large snow pile left by Thursday's overnight storm, which dumped us much as 9 inches in parts of the city, police said.

The owner of the car told police he saw Ramos try to drive away, but the Camry got stuck, leaving the owner time to get into the car and yank the key out of the ignition.

Ramos then tried to flee, but he was quickly arrested on charges of grand larceny and unauthorized use of a car, according to the criminal complaint.

Ramos was previously arrested on Nov. 9, after allegedly assaulting a resident at a psychiatric center on Ward's Island, hitting the victim in the head with a sock stuffed with a hard object, according to the criminal complaint. He was ordered held without bail and is due back in court Friday.

A call to his lawyer was not immediately returned.

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