Police catch suspect who targeted women in five violent street robberies across Astoria and LIC (UPDATED)

dcpi update
Photo courtesy of the NYPD, inset via Twitter/@NYPDPSA9

Cops have arrested a violent man who was wanted in connection with robbing five women in the streets of Astoria and Long Island City.

The suspect, who was identified as 26-year-old Donald Grier was caught on Aug. 13 at 8 p.m., hours after law enforcement posted his photo and information on Twitter.

Police said that they received an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip that helped them track Grier down. He is reportedly an employee for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and has been charged with one count of robbery.

Grier is said to be connected to a series of violent robberies that took place recently in the 114th Precinct.

Law enforcement sources said the pattern began at 11:30 p.m. on July 28 at 11:30 p.m.when Grier allegedly approached the 27-year-old female victim in front of a home on 33rd Street near 34th Avenue.

That’s where Grier produced a knife and proceeded to take $120 in cash from the victim’s purse before quickly fleeing the scene.

Authorities said the second incident happened a day later on July 29 at about 11:05 p.m., when Grier allegedly approached a 23-year-old woman in front of a home on 36th Street between 30th and 31st avenues and demanded that she give him money. Grier then allegedly lifted his shirt and showed the victim the large knife, then took $60 in cash and fled the scene.

Grier’s tactics became more violent during a robbery two days later, on July 31. At about 4:30 a.m., law enforcement sources said, the approached the 21-year-old female victim on the corner of 43rd Street and 31st Avenue and punched her in the back of the head. Grier then proceeded to choke the woman and removed her wallet, which contained multiple credit cards and $30 in cash.

Police said the victim later walked into NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital of Queens in Flushing and received treatment for cuts and scrapes.

Grier’s next alleged attempted robbery happened on Aug. 3 at approximately 12:52 a.m. Police said that Grier approached the 29-year-old woman as she was entering her home in the vicinity of 43rd Street and 34th Avenue. He then allegedly pushed the victim into the lobby of her residence and attempted to forcibly remove her bag. Police sources said that he fled the scene empty-handed.

Two days later, on Aug. 5 at about 12:43 a.m., Grier approached the 28-year-old female victim in front of a residence 29th Street between 34th and 35th avenues in Long Island City. He allegedly grabbed the woman from behind and put her in a chokehold. Grier then reportedly took the woman’s pocketbook, which contained multiple credit cards, and fled the scene.


Updated at 9:45 a.m. on Aug. 14. Emily Davenport contributed to this report.

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