Two brothers and two other men have been charged with stealing nearly 1,200 laptops bound for public-school students in New Jersey after investigators determined their story about a theft didn’t add up.
Anton Saljanin, 43, and Gjon Saljanin, 40, were due to appear in court Thursday with Ujka Vulaj, 54, and Carlos Caceres, 37, on charges including conspiracy and theft from an interstate shipment.
In January 2014, the Saljanins drove a truck from New York’s Yorktown Heights to Massachusetts to pick up a shipment of 1,195 Apple MacBook Air laptops worth more than $1 million that were meant for two public high schools in New Jersey, according to prosecutors.
The next day, Anton Saljanin reported to Yorktown police that the truck had been stolen. Later that day, he told police he spotted the truck in a Danbury, Connecticut, parking lot, but a window was smashed and the computers were missing, investigators said.
But prosecutors say the brothers’ story began to unravel as investigators looked into the case.
Detectives found broken glass in the Danbury parking lot but not in the Yorktown Heights lot where they said the theft occurred. Surveillance video showed the yellow truck taking a detour toward the home of a friend of the men on the night it was said to have been stolen, prosecutors said.
Investigators tracked down the buyers of the stolen laptops through an Apple registry and found Vulaj and Caceres sold them to more than a dozen people for as little as half their usual $1,000 price, prosecutors said.
Lawyers for the brothers told The New York Times they expect their clients to plead not guilty at a hearing. Attorneys for the other men didn’t respond to phone messages seeking comment.