Hempstead man robbed 7 people of phones: DA

LONG ISLAND CITY — A Long Island man was charged with seven robberies in a one-month period, all similar in nature and focused on one area in Long Island City, according to documents from the Queens district attorney.

Travis Williams, of Hempstead, began his spree with a Nov. 17 robbery in Jamaica, according to the DA.

At around 8:45 a.m. Williams approached a man at 176-21 Hillside Ave. and asked to use his cell phone. Williams took the phone, then pulled $300 out of the man’s pockets before saying his brother was nearby with a gun and fleeing, police said.

Five days later at about 4 p.m., Williams asked another man for his cellphone, at 25-19 Queens Plaza North, adding his brother had just been robbed.

Williams then said, “Give me your phone. I have a gun,” according to the DA.

The man forked over the phone and Williams fled, police said.

On Dec. 3, Williams returned near the scene of the first robbery, and at around 5:18 p.m. again invoked his brother before taking a cellphone from another man, the DA said.

Two days later, Williams went back to Long Island City and stole a cellphone from a man using the story of his brother, but this time forced the man to withdraw money from an ATM and made off with $300, the DA said.

The day after that, Dec. 6, Williams pulled the same robbery in nearly the same place, but netted $200, the DA said.

On Dec. 8, it was $1,000, according to the DA.

But Williams was foiled after swiping a phone out of the hands of a man Dec. 14 near the intersection of Queens and Northern boulevards, the DA said, when the man wrestled his phone back from Williams.

Williams was charged with various degrees of robbery and theft in each incidence, the DA said.

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