Three men wanted in connection with a Rego Park robbery back in February have been tied to six other muggings that occurred in western Queens in April and May, police announced on Friday.
The NYPD said that it established a robbery pattern involving the suspects who ambushed their victims on the street during evening and early morning hours. In some instances, the perpetrators pushed an unsuspecting victim to the ground before taking their property, while at other times, they confronted their victims inside of or near their vehicles.
On June 7, the NYPD released images and video footage of two of the bandits wanted for the pattern.
Law enforcement sources said the trio first struck on the night of Feb. 16 in the vicinity of Eliot Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park. According to authorities, the suspects approached a 57-year-old woman as she exited from her car. One of the men displayed a gun and demanded her property.
The victim handed over her purse, which contained a cellphone, cash and an ID card, to the suspects, who then fled the scene.
Cops said the bandits involved in the pattern struck twice on the night of April 17 in East Elmhurst and Long Island City.
At 8:50 p.m., they walked up to a 58-year-old woman from behind in the area of 25th Avenue and 79th Street and pushed her to the pavement. They then demanded her property and took her cellphone, then fled on foot southbound on 79th Street.
Nearly two hours later, at 10:20 p.m., they attacked a 29-year-old livery cab driver who provided them a ride that ended at the corner of 10th Street and 44th Avenue. The suspects got into a dispute with the cabbie over the fare, during which they grabbed electronic tablets from the dashboard. They then fled the scene in an unknown direction.
Cops said two of the crooks struck twice more in both neighborhoods on the night of May 3.
At 9 p.m., authorities said, the pair approached a 40-year-old man as he sat inside a car in front of a home on 75th Street in East Elmhurst and asked to use his cellphone to call a cab. When the victim produced his phone, one of the suspects snatched it out of his hands, and the pair fled.
One hour later, at 10 p.m., the duo attacked a livery cab driver who dropped them off at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 33rd Street in Long Island City. As they departed the vehicle, authorities said, one of the suspects displayed a knife and demanded the driver’s property. They then forced the cabbie out of his car, then got back inside the vehicle and took off northbound on 33rd Street.
Police said the bandits then ambushed a 33-year-old woman walking in front of a home on 73rd Street in East Elmhurst at 9:05 p.m. on May 5, demanding her property and pushing her to the ground. They grabbed her cellphone and fled the scene.
Finally, at 2:40 a.m. on May 28, the duo approached a 45-year-old man as he exited his car parked in front of 77th Street near Woodside Avenue in Elmhurst. Cops said they grabbed the victim and demanded his property. The victim handed over $40 in cash to the suspects, who then fled northbound on 77th Street.
Cops described both suspects as black men in their 20s wearing black sweaters, dark-colored jeans and white or blue sneakers.
Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA), visit the Crime Stoppers website or send a direct message on Twitter to @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.