Man who robs elderly nabbed by 49th Precinct

After weeks of investigating, officers have arrested the man who has been robbing elderly residents within the 49th Precinct.

Since early November, Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson and his team at the 49th have been searching for a suspect who robbed elderly men and women around Allerton Avenue to Arnow Avenue and Laconia Avenue to Lurting avenue.

On Wednesday, November 23, Officer Robert Morales arrested 20-year-old Devon Brown after he robbed a pocketbook from a 96-year-old woman on Allerton and Lurting Avenues.

According to Nicholson, a witness contacted police after the incident and Sgt. Fred Pineda and Officer William Ascencio, who were close by, were able to track down Brown at 3030 Paulding Avenue after an additional witness advised the officers of the location in which he fled.

“We put a lot of resources into tracking this guy down over the last few weeks,” Nicholson said. “Luckily nobody was injured during the robberies. He (Brown) would just push around elderly people and steal their belongings.”

After the arrest, Sgt. Tawee Theanthong led an investigation that shows Brown on a security video approaching the victim and running away with her purse. During the investigation, Brown also made video and written statements about his involvement in robberies that occurred on Saturday, November 5, Sunday, November 6, and Saturday, November 12.

With consent from Brown, a search was conducted at his residence at 3030 Paulding Avenue where additional evidence was found that were connected to the previous robberies.

According to Nicholson, who has been the commanding officer of the 49th Precinct for over 18 months, the robbing of elderly residents within the precinct is very uncommon, and he made sure that his officers were on top of finding whoever was responsible for the recent incidents.

“There’s never been elderly people being robbed like this, it just never happens,” he said. “Once the first incident happened we knew we had to track this guy down. He took responsibility for all the previous robberies, so hopefully we won’t have to deal with this again.”

Brown has four prior arrests, including the assault of an elderly man. He has been arraigned by the Bronx District Attorney and is being held on $50,000 bail.

Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3383.

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