Tag Archives: 31st Street

Suspect arrested in violent Astoria robbery of elderly man


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Update 1:09 p.m.

A teary-eyed confession on an Astoria street corner has led to the arrest of a man in the violent robbery of an elderly deli customer earlier this week, authorities said.

Charles Piccolo, 37, has been charged with robbery and assault in the attack, according to police.

The 78-year-old victim, identified in media reports as Elias Bournias, was buying cigarettes from the front window of the store on 31st Street near Ditmars Boulevard at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday when he was robbed.

The suspect tossed Bournias to the ground, injuring the back of his head, before grabbing $430 from him, authorities said.

EMS took Bournias to Elmhurst Hospital, where he received five staples to his head.

The suspect saw Bournias with the large wad of cash just before robbing him, authorities said. Bournias told WABC he should have been more careful about concealing his money, but never expected to be attacked.

“I didn’t expect at 10 o’clock in the morning, on busy street with cops all the time,” he said. “I didn’t expect it, that’s why I was careless. I wasn’t careful.”

The day after the attack, police released surveillance footage of the robbery.


Police said after reviewing the video, they believed the suspect was Piccolo, who has been arrested three times in the past year for drug possession within their same precinct.

After keeping a look out for Piccolo, they spotted him about 6:40 p.m. Thursday night at the corner of 35th Street and Astoria Boulevard, not far from the site of the crime. When they approached him, he began to cry and admitted to robbing the victim.

According to the district attorney’s office, at the time his arrest, police allegedly recovered a gravity knife from his pants pocket and he was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

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78-year-old man attacked, robbed outside Astoria convenience store: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are on the hunt for a perp who was caught on camera tossing an elderly man to the ground outside an Astoria convenience store so he could steal his cash, authorities said.

The robbery occurred while the 78-year-old victim was buying cigarettes from the front window of the store on 31st Street near Ditmars Boulevard at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The suspect threw the man to the ground, injuring the back of his head, before grabbing more than $400 from him, police said.

EMS took the victim to Elmhurst Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.


Police describe the suspect as a white man, about 35 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 200 pounds, with a light complexion and brown eyes. He was wearing a black jacket with white stripes on the sleeves, a white hooded jacket, blue jeans and tan boots.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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$27K stolen from man at Astoria check cashing store: police


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A suspect followed a man into an Astoria check cashing store before stealing his $27,000 bag of money, cops said.

The suspect trailed the 36-year-old victim into the store, David’s Check Cashing, located on 31st Street near 23rd Avenue, at about 11 a.m. on Oct. 23, police said. He then held up his hand, covered with a bag, indicating that he had a gun, and demanded cash from the victim.

The victim handed the suspect a bag containing about $27,000 in cash and the suspect fled, cops said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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The Doe Fund to help clean more Astoria streets


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

More Astoria streets are getting cleaner thanks to the “men in blue.”

After hearing positive feedback from residents and business owners, The Doe Fund, which was initially brought to the western Queens neighborhood in April, will now expand street sweeping services to Steinway Street, Newtown Road, Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue, Councilman Costa Constantinides announced Thursday.

“This will be a boon to residents and small business owners across Astoria. The ‘men in blue’ will continue to provide reinforcements and additional resources to help keep Astoria clean,” said Constantinides, who has allocated over $130,000 for street sweeping by The Doe Fund as part of the new city-wide initiative Clean NYC.

The nonprofit organization, which employs recently homeless or formerly incarcerated people as part of its Ready, Willing, and Able transitional work program, was keeping the sidewalks clean and clearing the corner trash cans along 30th Avenue, Broadway and 31st Street.

“This program will increase the quality of life in Astoria, that’s the most important. Clean the street, find new jobs and community come together to be concerned about the quality of life,” said Ahmed Jamil, president of the Muslim American Society. “At the end of the day [before] you [saw] the garbage on the streets and you now don’t see it anymore.”

Although the Department of Sanitation collects trash from corner trash cans once per day in Astoria, the expansion of The Doe Fund helps alleviate the trash and littered streets which have previously caused problems in the neighborhood, such as sidewalk accessibility and shopping issues, according to Constantinides.

“The Doe Fund, combined with community street and graffiti clean-ups, will continue to make a difference in our district and across the city,” said Constantinides, who has also allocated $30,000 in funding for graffiti removal services. “Clean streets and buildings make our neighborhood more enjoyable and inviting—a win for everyone.”

 

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