Cops Make Two Big Arrests, Collar Smartphone Thieves

Queens Collar Highlights Citywide Issue

A suspect who threatened to harm a Bronx man who was visiting Elmhurst with his four-year-old son and then stole the man’s iPhone last Wednesday, May 1, was apprehended a short time later by uniformed officers who stopped and questioned him in neighboring Jackson Heights, police reported.

Law enforcement sources said Louis Barragan, 17-a “Sureno 13” gang member who has an extensive robbery arrest history-was arrested by 115th Precinct officers for grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, the victim’s iPhone, it was reported.

Coincidentally, the suspect resides in the Bronx too, although he has provided Brooklyn and Queens addresses in previous arrests, reports stated.

Barragan allegedly confronted the victim and his four-year-old son at about 6:30 p.m. May 1 while the two were in front of a location on Elmhurst Avenue near Case Street, within the 110th Precinct’s confines in Elmhurst, it was noted.

After a verbal altercation initiated by Barragan, authoritie stated, the suspect snatched the victim’s iPhone from his hand and ran south on 90th Street.

Responding Police Officers Emilie Pembroke and Kathryn Brown, assigned to Impact posts in the 110th Precinct, transmitted a description of the suspect, after failing to locate the stolen phone via the tracking application “Find My iPhone.”

Soon after transmitting the suspect’s description, the officers were directed to transport the victim to Junction Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue where Police Officers Richard Harris and Frank Cantalino, Impact officers in the 115th Precinct, had stopped and questioned a suspect matching Barragan’s description.

Upon hearing of the crime over the radio and anticipating that the suspect may have boarded the No. 7 subway at 90th Street and Elmhurst Avenue and might get off at the next stop at Junction Blvd and Roosevelt Avenue, the officers walked in the direction of the station, according to reports. There, they stopped a male matching the suspect’s description, and when the victim was brought to the location, he positively identified Barragan as the person who stole his phone, it was noted. Barragan was searched and was found to have two iPhones in his possession, including the victim’s, officials said.

Earlier in the week, on Apr. 28 at about 5 a.m., a 22-year old woman talking on her iPhone at the corner of Wadsworth Avenue and W. 184th Street in Washington Heights, was approached from behind by two male Hispanics, who knocked her to the pavement and stole her phone, it was noted.

The suspects fled, and Police Officers Matthew Jagoda, Katharin Gardner and Sherif Baksh of the 34th Precinct, responded. Officer Jagoda used the “Find My iPhone” application on his own phone to locate the victim’s, which was in the possession of suspect Ariel Malave, 32, of W. 182nd Street, police said.

He was hiding on the roof of a building on West 184 Street-a building on the same corner where the robbery occurred-when the three officers found him there and placed him under arrest for robbery, reports show.

The victim’s iPhone was recovered at the scene. Malave was previously arrested in connection with the Sept. 7, 1999 beating death of Julio Infante.

Malave served five and a half years in prison, to which he returned for an additional year and eight months for a parole violation, according to police.

More from Around New York