Tag Archives: Robbery

Man busted for robbing four Queens businesses


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have arrested an alleged thief for holding up four Queens businesses this month — including three in the same day.

Jose Escobar, a 48-year-old Queens Village resident, has been charged with five counts of robbery in the crime spree that began on March 2, authorities said.

According to police, that afternoon Escobar held up the Baile Deli and Grocery at 222-15 Braddock Ave. in Bellerose, taking off with $1,000.

On Sunday, he allegedly pulled off three more armed robberies.

Escobar is accused of holding up a Bellerose Gulf Gas station, located at 239-15 Jamaica Ave., at about 10:35 a.m., getting away with about $75 in cash.

The same day, at about 1:15 p.m., he robbed a Bellerose convenience store, located at 236-11 Braddock Ave., police said. He took a drink and $1,500 in cash before fleeing.

Just 15 minutes later, he robbed Mogul Hardware in nearby Queens Village, authorities said. After entering the 212-44 91st Ave. store, Escobar allegedly took out his gun and demanded cash. He then grabbed $30 and fled on foot.

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Police looking for mugger who robbed two women in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Two women were robbed on the streets of Queens in separate incidents earlier this month when a mugger jumped out of a car, pushed them to the ground and stole their purses before fleeing, police said.

The first victim, a 27-year-old woman, was attacked as she walking near 195th Street and 110th Avenue in St. Albans at about 2:10 p.m. on March 6.

A 56-year-old woman was cleaning snow from the top of her car at an unspecified time in the vicinity of 64th Avenue and 228th Street in Oakland Gardens when she was mugged on March 7, according to authorities.

Police have released a photo of the suspect and of the vehicle — a white sedan.

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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Man holds up three Queens businesses in one day: police


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A thirsty thief held up four Queens businesses this month, targeting three in one day and stealing more than $2,500 in cash — and a drink, police said.

The suspect first hit the Baile Deli and Grocery at 222-15 Braddock Ave. in Bellerose at about 12:30 p.m. on March 2, according to authorities. After pulling out a gun and demanding money, the suspect took $1,000 before fleeing on foot.

On Sunday, at about 10:35 a.m., the same suspect allegedly robbed a Bellerose Gulf Gas station, located at 239-15 Jamaica Ave., at gunpoint, getting away with about $75 in cash.

The same day, at about 1:15 p.m., he robbed another Bellerose convenience store, located at 236-11 Braddock Ave. After entering the store, the suspect played a lotto game then went to the refrigerator, took a beverage, and put it onto the counter, police said. He then displayed a gun and demanded the drink and cash. The suspect took the drink and $1,500 in cash before fleeing.

Just 15 minutes later, the same man is accused of robbing a hardware store in nearby Queens Village, authorities said. The suspect entered Mogul Hardware, located at 212-44 91 Ave., flashed his gun and demanded cash again. He then grabbed $30 and fled on foot.

Police describe the suspect as a white Hispanic man who is about 40 years old, 6 feet 3 inches tall and 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a light blue “Adidas” hooded sweatshirt during the robbery at the hardware store.

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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Four men wanted in robbery of East Elmhurst luxury car service company


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Cops are looking for suspects wanted in connection with a robbery of a luxury car service company last week in East Elmhurst.

On Feb. 19 at about 10 p.m., three suspects entered Stride Limo Inc. at 23-57 83rd St. One of the suspects showed a firearm and demanded money from a 48-year-old victim, police said. The suspects then took the victim’s cellphone and wallet, which contained credit cards and miscellaneous items.

A fourth suspect acted as a lookout for the group, according to cops, and all four men later fled in a dark-colored minivan with unknown Florida license plates.

Police describe the first suspect as a black man who is between 20 to 30 years old, around 6 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a dark winter coat with light-colored lining on the hood, dark blue jeans and tan boots.

The three other suspects are described as black men, 20 to 30 years old and between 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 3 inches tall.

Rear view of the first suspect.

Rear view of the first suspect.

The NYPD has released photos of the first suspect and two of the other three men.

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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Police looking for Flushing spa robber


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo and video courtesy of NYPD

A man held up a Flushing spa last week, getting away with hundreds in cash, police said.

The robbery occurred at the Jessica Holistic Spa on College Point Boulevard, near Maple Avenue, just before 7 a.m. on Feb. 19.

The suspect entered the spa, simulated that he had a gun and demanded money, authorities said. He then fled with $400 in cash.


Police have released video footage of the suspect and describe the man as black, 25 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches and 170 pounds.

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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Police looking for pair in Rockaway robbery


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

They beat him for his Beats.

Police are searching for two suspects who attacked a man in the Rockaways before stealing his pricey headphones and electronic gadgets.

The pair approached the 33-year-old victim from behind at 5:25 p.m.on Feb. 4 inside of the Edgemere Houses on Beach Channel Drive and began kicking and punching him, authorities said. They then took his Samsung tablet, Beats headphones and Samsung cellphone before fleeing on foot.

The victim was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

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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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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Whitestone Pharmacy robbed at gunpoint in drug theft


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

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Police are searching for the gun-wielding thug who held up the Whitestone Pharmacy on Feb. 6, forcing the employees into a bathroom while he looted the shelves of hundreds of dollars’ worth of pain medication.

The thief wore a scarf over his face and a dark hoodie sweater during the holdup. But instead of grabbing cash from the pharmacy register, he went right for the shelves and snatched $600 worth of an opiate called Fentanyl, police said.

The drug is sold in patches — like a nicotine patch — and is prescribed to people with chronic pain and for pain management.

Like morphine or other opiates, Fentanyl is a high-strength painkiller that is often abused by people addicted to opiates.

Among Fentanyl’s legitimate purposes is treatment of cancer patients, who have built up a tolerance to morphine as a painkiller.

The man fled on foot from the 14th Avenue store without taking any cash. Police describe the suspect as 5 feet 9 inches tall and 165 pounds, and said the investigation is ongoing.

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Phony cop wanted in Queens livery cab robberies


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos and video courtesy of NYPD

A fake cop robbed livery cab drivers seven times this month after they picked him up at John F. Kennedy Airport, police said.

The phony officer tells the driver he is a Queens policeman while waving a gun and demanding property, authorities said. He then flees the vehicle just north of the airport, around the Jamaica or Springfield Garden areas.


During the incidents, which occurred between Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, the suspect stole credit cards, cellphones, a GPS device and a total of $960 in cash.

Police describe the suspect as black and about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 160 pounds.

324-15 PIIU - Cab Robbery

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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Man flashes ‘Islam’ tattoo at store clerk during Jamaica robbery


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

A robber with an “Islam” tattoo on his chest allegedly used his religion to try to convince a Jamaica store clerk to not call the cops, according to published reports.

“We are both Muslim. We are supposed to support each other,” the suspect said to the clerk during the Dec. 4 holdup at 111 Wireless and More at 111-02 Merrick Blvd., reports said.

The suspect entered the store about 6:35 p.m., took out a gun and demanded money from the worker, police said. The clerk then handed over $780, but the suspect reportedly wanted more cash and phones.

When the clerk said he didn’t have the goods, the suspect said as Muslims they were “supposed to support each other,” reports said.

Surveillance photos released by police show the suspect displaying his “Islam” tattoo to show the employee he is a Muslim.

“Please don’t call the police and report me,” he then said before shaking hands with the clerk.

Police describe the suspect as 35 years old, 6 feet tall and 220 lbs. He has dark braids and was wearing a black beret, green jacket, camouflage pants and black sneakers.

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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Man shot in Richmond Hill robbery: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A robber shot a man in Richmond Hill earlier this week before jumping into a getaway car with his accomplice and taking off with the victim’s necklace, cops said.

Two men exited a silver-colored vehicle parked near 129th Street and Atlantic Avenue about 3:15 a.m. on Monday, came up to the victim and said, “Give it up,” according to police. One of the suspects then snatched a chain from the victim’s neck, took out a semiautomatic handgun and fired, striking the victim three times in the chest and leg.

The suspects then ran back to the waiting car, where a third man was in the driver’s seat, and they drove off southbound along 129th Street, police said.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

Police have released video footage of the suspects and describe them as black men in their mid-20s, about 6 feet tall and 170 pounds.

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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Teens robbed at Astoria McDonald’s: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Two young robbers, still hungry for more money, returned to an Astoria McDonald’s just after robbing one teen so they could steal from another customer, police said.

The victims, a pair of 17-year-old boys, were inside the 22-50 31st St. fast-food restaurant about 3:55 p.m. on Monday when the two suspects came up to them, cops said.

The suspects, who are also believed to be teenage boys, told one of the victims to empty his pockets, police said. He did what he was told and handed them an undetermined amount of money.

Immediately after leaving the McDonald’s the two suspects returned to rob the other 17-year-old. They ordered the boy to empty his pockets and he handed over an undetermined amount of money and his iPhone 5, police said. The suspects then left the eatery, with the victim chasing after them.

When he caught up with the two robbers and asked for his property back, they threatened to beat him with a brick and the victim fled.

Police have released a video of the suspects leaving the McDonald’s. The first suspect is described as white, 16 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 145 pounds and was wearing a mask. The second suspect is black, 16 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 135 pounds.

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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Two women wanted in Astoria street robbery


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are searching for two women who they say robbed a 44-year-old woman last month in Astoria.

On Dec. 2 at 12 p.m., the victim was walking near 44th Street and 31st Avenue when the two suspects came up from behind the woman and pushed her to the ground, cops said. They then snatched her purse, containing the woman’s credit cards and keys, and took off.

The victim was transported to Elmhurst Hospital for cuts on her head.

Police described the suspects as Hispanic.

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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Teens charged after assaulting Elmhurst store owner, wife during robbery: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Two teens brandishing what appeared to be guns walked into an Elmhurst electronics store on Tuesday and attacked the owner and his wife while robbing the place, police said.

The teenage thieves, Alex Diaz, 15, of Brooklyn, and Ronald Espinoza, 14, of Queens, walked into JC Electronics on Grand Avenue at 4 p.m. and said they were going to rob the store, cops said. Both boys, who were carrying air pistols, then went behind the counter where the owner, a 38-year-old man was, and started struggling with him.

Diaz and Espinoza then began to strike the owner in the head with their pistols and tried to cut him with a knife, according to police. When the owner’s wife tried to help him, she was also assaulted.

Their daughter, in the meantime, had fled to the basement and called 911.

The teens took $468 from the register and cellphones that were being repaired in the store, cops said. They then fled toward the subway station at Queens Boulevard, with the owner chasing them.

A passerby, who saw the fleeing suspects and the owner running after them, directed responding officers to the subway station and the pair was apprehended. Police found three air pistols, a gravity knife and the stolen goods on the teens.

The owner and his wife were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where they were treated for lacerations to their heads and faces, and released, police said.

Diaz and Espinoza were both charged with robbery, assault, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property.

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Man pistol-whipped during LIC robbery: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for three men and one woman who they say pistol-whipped a man before robbing him in Long Island City this past summer.

The 22-year-old man was exiting an apartment on 12th Street about 2:30 a.m. on June 28 when the four suspects surrounded him and demanded his property, cops said. Two of the male suspects took out guns, and one of them pistol-whipped the victim. The suspects then stole the man’s jewelry, including a black and gold G-Shock watch, an Apple iPhone and credit cards.

The victim suffered fractured a bone in his face during the attack and was treated at an area hospital, police 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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