Thursday, July 24, 2008

Four Arrested After Car Chase

Suspected in Series of Violent Street Robberies Across Queens

By Conor Greene

Four men suspected in a series of street robberies are in custody after leading officers on a car chase from Maspeth to Forest Hills late last night. The men are now being held in connection with five robberies committed last night, and are suspected in several other including a recent carjacking.

The 104th Precinct’s Grand Larceny Auto Team was on the lookout for a black Toyota that was robbed gunpoint from a woman on Bleecker Street in Ridgewood early Saturday morning. Officers Michael Sagarese and Nigel Peart noticed the vehicle in Maspeth last night, and attempted to pull it over at Maurice and Borden avenues. As the officers approached the vehicle, the driver took off eastbound on the service road along the Long Island Expressway. The officers radioed for backup and followed the vehicle to the Grand Central Parkway.

At 75th Avenue in Forest Hills, the four men bailed out of the vehicle and tried to run but were quickly taken into custody. As of Wednesday morning, officers at the 104th Precinct were still conducting lineups and going over statements made by victims. The men are believed to be responsible for strong-arm street robberies that occurred last night in the 104th, 110th, 108th and 114th precincts, and police are withholding their names until the investigation is complete.

Police believe the crime binge began when the men stole a car in Ridgewood at 2:55 a.m. on Saturday. During that incident, they allegedly approached the 35-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man and demanded the keys. When the woman refused, the perps hit the man in the face and stuck the woman over the head with a beer bottle before fleeing with the car.

Ten minutes later, a man walking along Metropolitan Avenue near 61st Street was approached by three men who got out of a black vehicle. They flashed a hand gun and threw the victim to the ground before choking him, police said. When they realized he wasn’t carrying any money or valuables, they drove from the scene eastbound on Metropolitan Avenue at about 3:05 a.m.

The suspects are now being investigated in connection with a series of street robberies across the areas patrolled by Queens North, said a police source. “This is a great collar,” the source said. “It will take a couple of days before everything is said and done. They are suspected in numerous robberies across Queens.”

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