BY THE VILLAGE SUN | A gearhead cop got caught making a series of phony returns of bike parts, plus a pricey sports watch, at the Soho REI store — and it wound up costing him his badge.
Joseph Conway, 39, a detective specialist with the Bronx Court Section, pleaded guilty in early May to one count of petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor. The plea was announced by the Manhattan district attorney’s Police Accountability Unit.
According to the complaint filed by the D.A., a “loss prevent” employee of the REI store, at 303 Lafayette St., in the Puck Building, stated that REI records showed Conway made several purchases from REI.com between May 21, 2021, and May 4, 2022 — then made returns just a few days later in each case.
In the first incident, he bought and then got a refund for a $395 bicycle cassette (rear-wheel sprockets), but an investigation revealed he had substituted a less expensive item inside the original packaging. A second incident saw him again purchase a bike cassette, this time for $449, repackage a cheaper item in the original packaging and return it.
On May 9, 2022, while in his police uniform, Conway returned an alleged $180 Race Face bike handlebar at the store, but again the item was actually of lesser value than the original.
In the last scam, on May 16, 2022, again while in uniform, he made as if to return a $900 Garmin watch — though it was actually a cheaper, used watch of the same brand. The REI “repo man,” however, apparently subsequently tracked down Conway six months later because, as he stated in his deposition, “I seized the Garmin watch from the defendant on November 9, 2022.”
Under his plea, Conway must resign from the New York Police Department, avoid further interaction with the criminal legal system for 12 months, pay $1,914 in restitution and complete 100 hours of community service. He made $167,000 last year as a member of the N.Y.P.D.
Why? Why would you go to all the trouble of going through training, be on the force for years, rise to a decent position, and know you will be able to retire with a lifetime pension and benefits, only to throw it all away for a couple of hundred bucks?!? Now he’s pushing 40, disgraced, can’t be a cop again, and goes into what new line of work? Walmart greeter? Yeezus, how dumb can you get?
He’ll be ok. He can move and be a cop elsewhere and no one will care what he did after 12 months and done his community service. He can be a cop anywhere with an NYPD background. He might not make as much but he will be ok…
Actually, they say cops earn more in the suburbs.