Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wild Crime Spree in Ozone Park

Robbery Followed by Two Carjackings

By Conor Greene

A wild scene unfolded along several blocks of 103rd Avenue in Ozone Park on Monday when three men were involved in a robbery and two car jackings. The men twice crashed the stolen vehicles while being pursued by a witness, and in the end, police arrested two of the suspects but were unable to locate the third despite a search of backyards.

According to police sources, 26-year-old Phillip Chase of Brooklyn and 18-year-old Chevon Johnson of South Jamaica ripped a gold chain off the neck of an individual near 103rd Avenue shortly before noon. The men fled the scene on foot while the third suspect followed in a grey van with Texas license plates.

The robbery was witnessed by a local couple, Yvette Remsaroop and Lewie Tuitt, who were driving home from the grocery store. They told the victim to get in the back of their car and began following the suspects. At that point, the two men jumped into the van, but only made it three blocks before it crashed into a pole. The three men jumped from the vehicle and immediately carjacked another van proceeding westbound on 103rd Avenue.

The men only made it a few blocks down 103rd Avenue before crashing into a parked car and fleeing on foot. Officers from the 106th Precinct arrested Chase and Johnson after locating them hiding next to a house near 130th Street. The driver wasn’t found and is still at large, according to police sources, and the gun used in the carjacking wasn’t recovered. Police did find the stolen chain, several cell phones and discarded clothing left in the van by the suspects.

Officials from the 106th Precinct credited the public with helping officers apprehend the two men, who both have extensive prior arrest records and are currently being held in Rikers Island on charges including second-degree robbery and possession of stolen property.

Remsaroop, who has lived in the area for four years, said she told her husband to start following the men after witnessing the initial robbery. She said they only later realized that the men were armed, and said that nothing is surprising, especially these days. “At least we got them off the streets. That’s the best thing that could have happened,” she said.

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