Tag Archives: t-mobile

Suspect wanted in gunpoint robbery at Astoria cellphone store

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo/video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who robbed an Astoria cellphone store last week at gunpoint and then fled in a black Audi.

On April 17 at about 3:55 p.m., the unidentified suspect entered the T-Mobile store at 31-05 36th Ave. and displayed a firearm, according to authorities. He then demanded an employee fill a duffel bag with various boxed cellphones and he also took about $200 from the cash register.

The man then fled the store in a black Audi. No injuries were reported in the incident.

Police have released surveillance video and a photo of the suspect.

The suspect is described as a black man, about 35 years old, 6 feet tall, 275 pounds, and with black hair. He was last seen wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt, black sneakers and blue jeans.

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.


National retailers moving to Queens faster than Manhattan and Brooklyn

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Dunkin’ Donuts — like many national retailers —  is running on Queens.

The consumer market for national retailers is expanding faster in “The World’s Borough” over anywhere else in the city as a new report showed national brands have opened more new locations in Queens during the year.

Dunkin’ Donuts, 7-Eleven and T-Mobile were among retailers that added the most new branches in the borough, and the number of national chain retail locations in Queens increased 6.4 percent to 1,770 stores this year from 1,663 in 2013, according to the Center for an Urban Future’s State of the Chains.

While Manhattan still has more than 1,000 more national chain locations than Queens, Manhattan only added .4 percent or 10 new locations. Brooklyn, which has 1,593 chain stores, saw a 3.4 percent gain, and the Bronx added 4.2 percent. Staten Island is the only borough that didn’t see an increase.

T-Mobile, which had the most new locations in Queens, added 17 new outlets to bring their total in the borough to 55, followed by CVS, which opened 14 new locations to expand to a total of 48 stores. Dunkin’ Donuts, which added seven stores, still tops the list in total locations in Queens with 161 stores.

Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts

A notable increase from the report is beauty product store L’Occitane en Provence, which had just one store the previous year, but added nine stores in 2014.

However, there were some chains that dropped their presence in Queens, including ice cream maker Cold Stone Creamery, which closed four locations, and now has just one remaining Queens outlet.

The Corona and Elmhurst zip code of 11373, which includes Queens Center and Queens Place malls, has the highest number of chain stores in the borough.

Click here for the full report.


Duane Reade to stay for 15 more years in Flushing

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, Inc. (KDA) has arranged for the renewal of a 14,000 square-foot, long-term lease for New York-based drugstore chain Duane Reade at 198-15 Horace Harding Expressway at the Cross Path Shopping Center in Flushing, Kalmon and Neil Dolgin, co-presidents of KDA announced.

“The Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates team worked closely with the owner to negotiate the best possible terms for the lease renewal of Duane Reade at the property,” said Neil Dolgin. “The prime location of the Cross Path Shopping Center offers tenants excellent visibility, and the close proximity of Francis Lewis Boulevard and I-495 provides customers convenient access to all that the center has to offer.”

Neil and Grant Dolgin of Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates represented the owner in the deal, while Winick Realty Group, LLC negotiated on behalf of the tenant.

In addition to Duane Reade, the 44,877-square-foot, one-story Cross Path Shopping Center features tenants such as Waldbaums grocery store, N&S Wines, a nail salon, pet groomer, T-Mobile and the Blue Bay Diner.



Four arrested in armed robbery of Ozone Park cell phone store

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Four men were arrested for armed robbery and criminal possession of a weapon after they held up an Ozone Park cell phone store Friday.

Three of the men, concealing their faces with bandanas, entered a T-Mobile store located at 97-05 Rockaway Boulevard around 7:30 p.m., and ordered two customers and one store employee into a back room at gunpoint where an additional employee was located, said police.

They then told the store employees to open the safe and they removed a cash register tray containing money. The suspects also removed cell phones from the storage area and the victims’ personal property.

Locking all four victims in the room, the suspects fled in a minivan with out of state license plates that was occupied by an additional suspect, said police.

Officers assigned to the 106th Precinct’s Domestic Violence unit searching the area for the suspects, stopped the vehicle at 79th Street and Linden Boulevard, and arrested the four men—Reon Adams, 22, of Brooklyn, Kyle Balkisson, 18, of Brooklyn, Tevin Griffith, 21, of, Queens, and Akeem Honroe, 15, of Brooklyn.

The property stolen during the robbery was recovered from inside of the van as well as a semiautomatic handgun.



Duped Queens cell customers compensated

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Relief has been slowly trickling in for a handful of the hundreds scammed two months ago by an authorized Queens T-Mobile dealer, but deceived victims say they’ll never gain back their wasted time, stolen money and lost trust.

“It was a huge loss. I don’t have words to describe that,” said Dr. Srijan Kumar Bera, 34, of Kew Gardens. “I couldn’t sleep well because of this.”

Bera is one of at least 300 Queens customers who say they were cheated by a T-Mobile preferred retailer — a South Asian man they identified as Raj, who owned two Queens stores, at 138-40A 84th Drive in Briarwood and 134-11 Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park.

Both stores have been shuttered since the end of July and the owner and his employees, victims said, have fled, as the Courier reported in an August 2 cover story.

Bera said the devious dealer, who owns and operates a company called Jagdeep Global Products, Inc., billed him for five unauthorized lines tacked on to his account without permission, having already pocketed $200 in direct cash payments, before bolting.

He was left with $1,200 in charges from T-Mobile thanks to the five lines he said he never used, as well as disconnected service.

A spokesperson for T-Mobile had confirmed the fraudulent activity committed by the store owner and said the company apologizes and is taking “fast action” to correct the issues.

“We have worked together with the wholesaler responsible for the store and the owner has been replaced,” the spokesperson said, adding that those negatively affected should call customer service.

But duped customers said service representatives gave them the cold shoulder, saying the gripes they had were between themselves and the dealer and not the company.

“T-Mobile was not willing to take the blame on themselves,” Bera said. “They kept saying it’s between me and the dealer, but the dealer was using the company’s banner to give us the deals. That was where I felt really hopeless.”

Bera said he went to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) after calling T-Mobile’s Risk Assessment department every night, and writing several letters, to no avail. He said intervention by the BBB and the threat of hiring a lawyer helped speed up the process.

T-Mobile reps then waived $1,000 in termination fees and another $800 from the total bill.

Taliff Mohammed, 44, of Ozone Park — who was billed $1,271.92 in payments after also being signed up for five contracted lines instead of the three prepaid ones he wanted — said charges against him were dropped as well.

“It took some time, but they adjusted everything so I owe them no money,” he said. “It was unfortunate that I was taken advantage of but the big picture is that I wasn’t held responsible for that amount of money.”


T-Mobile store scams Queens customers out of thousands

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A major mobile phone service provider is under fire from hundreds of Queens residents who say an authorized retailer scammed them for thousands — before closing up shop and ducking their calls.

A T-Mobile retailer, who sources identify as a South Asian man named “Raj” who suffers from schizophrenia, allegedly billed customers for several unauthorized lines that he tacked on to their accounts, and then pocketed the additional money when they directly gave him payments in cash.

“He’s from my country. He speaks my language and is even from my city. I trusted him. Now he ran away,” said Tarsem Singh, 47. “I can’t afford this. I paid these bills already. I feel like I’m going to die.”

Singh, a car service driver from Brooklyn, is one of hundreds of consumers who said they made direct payments to a T-Mobile preferred retailer who owns two Queens stores, at 138-40A 84th Drive in Briarwood and 134-11 Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park.

Singh said he kept receiving notifications from T-Mobile of unpaid bills totaling $1,400, even though he said the dealer at the stores assured him the invoices had been paid and the mistake would be fixed.

Instead, Singh said, the devious dealer, who owns and operates a company called Jagdeep Global Products, Inc., re-sent the payments twice to two wrong routing numbers.

Dozens of customers who united outside the shuttered Briarwood store last Thursday said the owner, and all his employees, have fled. The two Queens stores have been closed for at least two weeks, they said.

“The last three days, I haven’t been working because I’m looking for him,” Singh said. “I have no money in my pocket.”

A spokesperson for T-Mobile confirmed the fraudulent activity committed by the store owner and said the company apologizes to those affected and is taking “fast action” to correct the issues.

“We have worked together with the wholesaler responsible for the store and the owner has been replaced. Customers who feel they have been negatively impacted by their experience with either of these stores should contact T-Mobile customer service. T-Mobile will address each concern and will work to correct all related issues directly with our customers,” the spokesperson said.

The company would not disclose or confirm the name of the stores’ owner.

The 107th Precinct said there were no reports filed from the location, but said the issue could be a civil, not criminal, matter.

A swarm of customers said at least 300 people have been affected and are left struggling to pay off bills for services they never wanted.

Taliff Mohammed, 44, said he set up an account in January for three prepaid lines. Instead, the Briarwood T-Mobile vender signed him up for five contracted lines, he claims.

“When I brought it to their attention, they said it was a mistake on T-Mobile’s behalf and they said they would take care of it,” said the Ozone Park resident who also directly paid the vendor each month in cash. “I thought they were making the payments, but every other couple of weeks, my line used to get cut off. I would go back to them and it would be restored. They never paid the bills. They were sending checks that bounced.”

Mohammed said he heavily suspected fraud, but when he called T-Mobile, he said the company blew him off and said he was responsible for $1,271.92 in payments, including cancellation of lines the vendor added to his account without permission.

Harjeed Kaur, 45, of Briarwood said she was billed $2,000 for an account she already closed after vendors signed her up for five lines instead of the original three she asked for.

Calls to numbers listed for employees were either disconnected or went straight to voicemail. A number listed for Raj was “temporarily not in service.”

“We all trusted him,” Kaur said.