Man charged with stealing car at gunpoint after helping to free it from snow: NYPD

Man charged with stealing car at gunpoint after helping to free it from snow: NYPD
By Christina Santucci

Brooklyn teen offered to help a 19-year-old man push a car that was stuck in the snow in Ozone Park Friday afternoon, before allegedly stealing the vehicle at gunpoint as well as the victim’s iPhone and money, police said.

But the NYPD said officers caught up with the suspect, who lost much of his clothing along the way, in a Brooklyn basement and charged him with robbery, resisting arrest and criminal possession of a weapon.

Genero Placenia, 18, approached a man shoveling snow to free his green 2001 Honda Civic on 75th Street at about 3:30 p.m. and offered to help, the NYPD said.

After the car was back on the road, Placenia asked for a ride to 75th Street and Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn, where he allegedly flashed a gun and forced the 19-year-old to hand over his iPhone5 and $60 and drove off with the Civic, police said

Queens and Brooklyn police searching for the stolen Honda found it at the corner of Logan and Atlantic avenues in Brooklyn stuck in the snow, the NYPD said.

Officers from the 106th Precinct then found footage of the suspect allegedly fleeing, and while tracing the route, cops discovered a black 9mm High Point gun at the corner of Dinsmore Avenue and Logan Street in Brooklyn, police said.

A witness told police that a man had run into an auto body shop and swapped his black jacket for a red hooded sweatshirt with white cow printed sleeves, and cops later spotted a man in a Laundromat fitting the description, the NYPD said.

As the detectives went into the store, Placenia allegedly fled through the back without his shoes, and officers later found him inside a nearby basement with most of his clothes off, according to cops.

Police said Placenia’s clothing was discovered in a garbage bag along with the victim’s cellphone, and he was arrested and charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of stolen property and resisting arrest.

Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at timesledgerphotos@gmail.com by phone at 718-260-4589.

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