UPDATE: DA drops charges against school aide arrested for Flushing spa robberies

Photo via Google Maps/Inset courtesy of NYPD

UPDATED May 11, 4:20 p.m.

Detectives arrested a public school aide on Wednesday on charges that he robbed the same Flushing spa at knifepoint twice this year, but prosecutors announced on Thursday that they’ve dropped all charges against him.

Police said Christian Shulterbrandt, 32, a paraprofessional for the NYC Department of Education, was taken into custody on May 10 within the 109th Precinct‘s confines. In addition to the Flushing capers, Shulterbrandt was additionally booked for two similar robberies of spas in Manhattan.

The NYPD did not immediately disclose where Shulterbrandt resides or to which public school he is assigned.

According to a New York Daily News report on the afternoon of May 11, however, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown declined to pursue the charges against Shulterbrandt citing “a lack of admissible evidence.”

In all four robberies, law enforcement sources said, the suspect responsible for them allegedly displayed a knife and demanded cash from female workers, stealing as little as $60 or as much as $1,000 per visit.

Authorities said the robber allegedly hit the Wellness Massage Parlor at 232 East 80th St. on the Upper East Side at 3:35 p.m. on Jan. 20. He confronted a 40-year-old female employee and stole $200 in cash.

The bandit allegedly paid a visit to the Rose Garden Spa at 156 West 20th St. in the Chelsea section of Manhattan at 5 p.m. on Feb. 10, police said. During the robbery, authorities said, he stole $60 in cash, then demanded that the 55-year-old female worker at the location provide him with more money. Police said the woman panicked and attempted to grab his knife, cutting herself in the process.

Both of the Flushing robberies occurred at the Sun Beauty Spa located at 41-20 College Point Blvd.

The first took place at 10:45 p.m. on March 1, police said, when the perpetrator allegedly entered the location and confronted a 32-year-old female employee. He subsequently took $500 in cash before fleeing the scene.

Law enforcement sources said that he returned to the same location at 5:25 p.m. on April 8, again confronted a 32-year-old female worker and stole $1,000 in cash before fleeing the scene.

Sources familiar with the investigation told QNS on Thursday morning that detectives tracked down Shulterbrandt on May 10 after receiving an anonymous tip through the NYPD Crime Stoppers hotline. During their investigation, sources said, Shulterbrandt was identified from a police lineup as the suspect behind the spa robberies.

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