Hungry Bandit Hits Qns. Vendors

Suspect Sought For Food Cart Stickups

Law enforcement agents are asking the public’s assistance in tracking down an armed bandit responsible for nine robberies across Elmhurst, Ozone Park and Rego Park in the last two weeks, many of which involved sidewalk food vendors, it was reported.

The suspect wanted for a series of nine armed stickups in Elmhurst, Rego Park and Ozone Park.

Police released on Wednesday morning, Mar. 14, a surveillance camera image of the suspect, who is described as a caucasian or Hispanic male between 20 and 25 years of age, standing between 5’10”- and 6′-tall and weighing between 150 and 170 lbs.

According to authorities, the crook robbed at gunpoint eight food cart vendors across the three neighborhoods since Mar. 2, including three which occurred early last Saturday morning, Mar. 10.

The bandit is also responsible for the armed robbery of a livery cab driver in Elmhurst last Saturday morning near the three food carts he held up, police said.

Each of the nine stickups occurred during early morning hours, law enforcement sources noted. In each incident, the suspect reportedly approached the victims, displayed a firearm and removed money.

Authorities said the first three holdups occurred on Friday morning, Mar. 2, when the bandit robbed a 47- year-old male vendor in front of the Queens Place shopping center at 88- 01 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst at 3:15 a.m.

Less than an hour later, police reported, the gunman held up a 43- year-old food vendor at the corner of Liberty Avenue and 94th Street at 4:05 a.m. He reportedly traveled north to Rego Park, where he robbed a 37-year-old food vendor at the corner of Junction Boulevard and 62nd Drive at 4:30 a.m.

Police said the bandit then returned to the Rego Park location on Monday morning, Mar. 5, to rob a 43-year-old food vendor at 12:50 a.m. The bandit then reportedly traveled to Elmhurst and robbed a 49- year-old food vendor in front of a location on Broadway near 43rd Avenue at around 1:30 a.m. that morning.

Then last Saturday morning, the gunman held up three food vendors and a livery cab driver within a fiveblock area of Elmhurst between 3:30 and 3:36 a.m., law enforcement sources stated.

Reportedly, the gunman held up two food vendors-a 47-year-old man and a 50-year-old man-located at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 55th Road.

Moments later, authorities noted, the bandit held up a 60-year-old male cab driver at the corner of 90th Street and 56th Avenue. Finally, the crook robbed a food vendor at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 59th Avenue, adjacent to the Queens Center mall.

Each of the incidents were reported to the 106th, 110th and 112th precincts. There were no injuries.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the NYPD Queens Robbery Squad, police said.

Anyone with any information regarding the robbery pattern or the suspect’s whereabouts that could prove helpful is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800- 577-TIPS, by text message to 274637 (enter information, then the code TIP577) or online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

All calls and messages will be kept confidential.

More from Around New York