NYC robbery rampage: Armed men busted after wild stickup spree targeting 13 victims

Two suspects were finally apprehended in the Bronx Tuesday after holding up 13 people at gunpoint across the city.
File photo/Steve Sanchez

Two armed men who allegedly went on a wild robbery rampage through Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan Tuesday morning, holding up 13 people at gunpoint, are finally in handcuffs, according to police.

Law enforcement sources said the alleged perpetrators were finally nabbed after being tracked down by a police helicopter in the Bronx as the suspects rode in a white Toyota Sienna mini-van with New York license plates. They ultimately crashed the vehicle and were nabbed by police.

According to police, the crime spree began in Queens at around 1 a.m. on Jan. 31 when the pair allegedly robbed two women at gunpoint who were on a Corona sidewalk. The men took both women’s cellphones and a necklace, police said.

Minutes later, authorities said, they robbed two people at gunpoint in the lobby of the Woodside Motor Inn, located at 65-09 Queens Blvd., and stole a cellphone and a wallet containing cash.

Sources familiar with the case said that responding officers obtained video footage of the suspects taken at the motel, which included the van’s license plate. Cops were then able to track the vehicle down hours later when the license plate appeared in their system when they went over a city bridge. A police helicopter was then sent out to track down the men.

However, prior to going over the bridge, the busy bandits traveled to Brooklyn and robbed an individual at gunpoint at around 1:45 a.m. at the corner of North 11th Street and Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. Cops said the pair took the victim’s cash.

Law enforcement sources said the armed duo then drove back to Queens and robbed six people at gunpoint who were sitting in an outdoor dining area in Jackson Heights, located at 72nd Street and Broadway, at around 2 a.m. The suspects took credit cards and cash, according to police.

Authorities said the pair then drove into Manhattan, where they robbed a man at gunpoint at around 2:42 a.m. who was working at a food truck at 70 Washington Square Park. The suspects took cash.

Police reported that the men then drove up to the Bronx, where they targeted a person who was on the sidewalk on Seaman Avenue at around 3:10 a.m. and stole the victim’s bag and personal property at gunpoint.

The NYPD Aviation Unit finally observed the the suspects’ van at Cedar Avenue and West 179th Street, near the entrance to the Major Deegan Expressway, where it crashed.

Officers arrived on the scene and arrested a 34-year-old man who was then taken into custody.  The other suspect, a 24-year-old man, tried to get away on foot. Cops appended him in a courtyard at 1991 Sedgwick Ave.

Police said they recovered a gun from the glovebox of the vehicle.

Charges against both men are pending. Police are also investigating whether the pair are involved in similar crimes that have been reported across the city.

The suspects names have yet to be released.