It started with a con game and ended in a robbery.
Police released on Wednesday night images of three persons of interest wanted for tricking a man into playing a fixed card game, then robbing him on a train in Ozone Park back in December.
On the afternoon of Dec. 11, 2015, according to the criminal complaint that the Queens District Attorney’s office provided, the victim claims that 54-year-old Eddie Vazquez of Brooklyn and the unidentified suspects followed him to and around the Resorts World New York Casino. After cashing a winning lottery ticket, police said, the victim headed out of the casino to the Aqueduct Racetrack A train station at about 4:10 p.m.
While heading to the station, prosecutors said, Vazquez approached the victim and offered him the opportunity to play a game of three-card Monte, a classic con game. The victim agreed to play and subsequently lost $1,000.
Upon realizing he had been scammed, the complaint noted, the victim threatened to notify authorities, leading Vazquez to hand the money back to him. The victim then entered the Aqueduct Racetrack station; reportedly, Vazquez and the three unidentified suspects followed the man and boarded the same train car.
Moments later, police said, the group surrounded the victim and wrangled away from him $2,500 in cash, then fled at the 88th Street station.
The incident was reported to the 106th Precinct; there were no injuries.
Following an investigation, the Queens Robbery Squad picked up Vazquez on Jan. 13 on charges of second-degree robbery, fourth-degree grand larceny, possession of a gambling device and fraudulent accosting. He remains locked up on $40,000 bail.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the persons of interest is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.