Howard Beach man charged in drive-by purse robbery: DA

Photo via Google Maps

Four wheels couldn’t help him get away any faster.

Using the application “Find My iPhone,” police were able to apprehend and later charge a Howard Beach man for robbing and injuring a woman last week while he was driving down a South Ozone Park street, according to authorities.

William Oliveri, 38, was arraigned Friday, Sept. 11, in Queens Criminal Court on charges of robbery, criminal possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, on Sept. 10 at about 10:30 p.m. Oliveri pulled up alongside the 41-year-old victim – who was walking down the street – in a gray SUV at the intersection of 117th Street and 111th Avenue. He then grabbed her purse, which was handing on her shoulder, before fleeing at a high speed, dragging the woman next to the car while she held onto her purse.

Oliveri then allegedly told the victim to let go and as she did she fell to the ground and the SUV then ran over the fingers of her left hand.

The woman suffered multiple bruises, contusion, lacerations and abrasion to her fingers, arms and legs allegedly from being dragged. She was taken to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries.

“The victim survived a harrowing robbery that could have easily cost her her life. Hopefully, she will recover from the physical and psychological trauma inflicted on her. In the meantime, the defendant now faces serious felony charges,” Brown said.

According to prosecutors, the victim told police that her purse contained her black iPhone, Blackberry, iPod, a pay stub containing her pedigree information and her wallet – which had 10 credit cards and her driver’s license.

Police from the 106th Precinct then allegedly used her iPhone GPS application “Find My iPhone” to locate the phone at a commercial business at 157-05 Cross Bay Blvd.

When the police entered the location at 11:06 p.m. that night, they allegedly saw an empty gray SUV in an adjacent parking lot. Minutes later they saw Oliveri enter the vehicle.

According to authorities, when he was being arrested Oliveri twisted his body and kicked his legs in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed.

Among things found in the SUV was the victim’s black iPhone, her pay stub, two glassine envelopes and a zip-close bag containing heroin, a metal container holding seven alprazolam pills, and one glass pipe containing cocaine.

Oliveri, who faces up to 25 years in jail if convicted, was ordered held on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday.