Chemical-spraying crooks rob two Elmhurst stores within 60 minutes, police say

Photo via Google Maps, insets courtesy of the NYPD

Police are on the hunt for a band of bandits who sprayed an unknown substance at their victims as they robbed them during two robberies that took place 15 minutes apart in Elmhurst earlier this month.

At 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, six males entered a store located at 40-04 Warren St. and attempted to distract a 28-year-old employee by asking him questions. When the employee pulled a cellphone out of a display case, authorities said, one of the suspects sprayed the employee with an unknown substance and grabbed the phone.


All six individuals fled in an unknown direction. The victim was treated and released from Elmhurst Hospital following the robbery.

Then, at 6:50 p.m., the perpetrators entered a store located at 90-22 Roosevelt Ave. and removed electronics from a display case valuing approximately $3,000, according to police.

When the individuals were confronted by a 53-year-old employee, law enforcement sources said, one of the individuals sprayed him with an unknown substance before they all fled westbound on Roosevelt Avenue. The victim was not hospitalized as a result of the incident.

Both robberies were reported to the 110th Precinct.

The suspects are described as black males between the ages of 16- and 20-years-old.

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Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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