Press Release


For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2024

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of YASSINE G. RAHI, 18, of Bayonne, NJ for robbery, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, endangering an injured victim, and theft by unlawful taking. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck and the Moonachie Police Department under the direction of Chief Richard Behrens.

On Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at approximately 4:58 p.m., the Moonachie Police Department responded to Avenue C in Moonachie, NJ for a reported hit-and-run. Responding officers located a 22-year-old victim with serious bodily injury who was struck by an unknown suspect operating a vehicle that sped from the scene after robbing the victim during a pre-arranged Facebook Marketplace transaction. Officers learned that the victim met with the suspect intending to purchase a PlayStation 5 video game console. The Moonachie Police Department notified the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and a joint investigation was initiated.

During the course of the investigation, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit detectives and the Moonachie Police Department identified a pattern of unsolved Facebook Marketplace robberies in northern New Jersey that involved fictitious Facebook accounts selling PlayStation 5 video game consoles. The user of these Facebook accounts would advertise a sale of the video game system and arrange a meeting. When it came time for the in-person transaction, the suspect would rob the victims of the money intended for the purchase of the video game console. A coordinated effort involving multiple law enforcement agencies in northern New Jersey was led by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and identified YASSINE G. RAHI as the individual who robbed the victim of $275 and struck the victim with his getaway vehicle while fleeing the incident in Moonachie.

As a result of the investigation, YASSINE G. RAHI was arrested in Bayonne, NJ on April 4, 2024 by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Moonachie Police Department, the Ridgefield Park Police Department, and the Guttenberg Police Department. RAHI was charged with first-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1a(1); second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1); third-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(2); third-degree leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1; third-degree endangering an injured victim, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.2a; and fourth-degree theft by unlawful taking, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a. In addition, RAHI was issued several motor-vehicle summonses. RAHI was remanded to the Bergen County Jail and is awaiting a detention hearing.

This investigation, led by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, is continuing, and additional charges are expected to be filed in coordination with partner agencies for the robberies that occurred in other jurisdictions.

“I want to take this opportunity to remind all residents of Bergen County about the importance of exercising caution and vigilance when engaging in online transactions,” said Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella. “While various online platforms offer a convenient way to buy and sell property, they also present opportunities for exploitation by dishonest individuals. If you must use social media or an online platform to arrange a transaction, meet at a ‘Safe Exchange Zone,’ which is a designated area that is usually equipped with security cameras and may be offered at your local police department.”

Prosecutor Mark Musella further noted about such online transactions: “Whether or not you conduct an online transaction at a ‘Safe Exchange Zone,’ always meet in public, well-lit areas, and never meet a stranger alone. Trust your instincts – if something feels off or too good to be true, it likely is. Additionally, report any suspicious activity or encounters to your local police without delay. By remaining vigilant and taking necessary precautions, we can help safeguard ourselves and our communities.”

Prosecutor Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and he would like to thank the Moonachie Police Department, the Ridgefield Park Police Department, the Guttenberg Police Department, the Madison Police Department, and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.