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South Ozone Park man committed crime spree likened to Grand Theft Auto: DA

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A South Ozone Park man pleaded guilty to a robbery spree for a series of car-jackings, bogus test drives and hold-ups at gunpoint in Southeast Queens stretching back to 2019.

Rayon Gounga, 22, of 111th Avenue, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and will go to prison after going on the crime spree between September 2019 and January 2020.

Goungo committed car-jackings, arranged test drives of cars using social media, then took off with the vehicles and held up two food delivery workers at gunpoint. The finale was a high-speed chase that included the hijacking of a van carrying nearly a dozen passengers who were on their way from JFK Airport to a nearby hotel.

Gounga pleaded guilty on Aug. 9 to robbery in the first and second degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michelle Johnson who will hand down the sentence on Sept. 27. Justice Jihnson indicated she will order Gounga to prison for nine years.

According to the charges, Gounga used Facebook on Sept. 28, 2019 to set up a meeting with the seller of an Audi sedan. Instead of taking a test drive, Gounga drove off and never returned. He repeated that scheme on Oct. 18, 2019 with another person selling a BMW on Facebook and yet again four days later, driving away with a second BMW.

In December, 2019, Gounga committed two separate gunpoint robberies of Chinese food delivery men. In both instances, he got away with the victim’s wallets.

According to court documents, Gounga car-jacked a driver at gunpoint and took the motorist’s Chevy Suburban on Dec. 29, 2019. About two weeks later, police found Goungo sleeping in an automobile. In an effort to evade capture, Goung led them on a high-speed chase through parts of Southeast Queens.

After crashing the vehicle on the Nassau Expressway, Gounga jumped out and fled on foot. He jumped over a fence and accessed the cargo area at JFK Airport. Moments later, he car-jacked a van carrying nearly a dozen passengers who were on their way to a hotel in the area.

The chase continued in yet a third vehicle when Gounga hopped out of the stolen van at a gas station and car-jacked a Honda, which he crashed at 135th Street and 109th Avenue. Gounga ran away on foot but was found under a parked van in a nearby driveway and apprehended.

“This defendant went on a car-stealing spree resembling a real-life, and really dangerous, version of the video game Grand Theft Auto,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “He also victimized two delivery workers by taking their cash at gunpoint. When police spotted the defendant sleeping in a vehicle he had stolen, he took them on a wild chase that endangered the police and public. This guilty plea brings an end to his reckless criminal behavior.”

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