Oct. 2, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
Three men have been arrested for impersonating police officers and robbing seven victims this month in Astoria, Long Island City, and the Bronx.
According to police, the suspects followed their victims in a white van and then pulled them over by impersonating police officers. When the victims were stopped, the perpetrators then assaulted them by sprayed a substance in to their eyes before robbing them.
The suspects stole credit cards, cash, and a bicycle during the thefts.
The seven incidents occurred on September 8th, 9th, 16th, 24th, and 25th, and most were in the vicinity of Crescent Street and 41st Avenue.
On September 25 around 12:30 a.m., police responded to a robbery at 35th Avenue and Crescent Street, where the victim told officers that he was stopped by three men wearing vests who had two-way radios.
The three men allegedly shined their flashlights in the victim’s face, before removing $60 and a Samsung Galaxy phone from the victim and fleeing the scene.
Officers found the suspect’s van abandoned at 14th Street and 37th Avenue.
Police broadcast a description of the suspects over the radio, and several officers recognized one of the suspects from a wanted suspect poster.
They stopped the man and found he had two radios capable of transmitting over police frequencies and a flashlight with the word “police” inscribed on it, as well as a burglar tool.
Police identified the suspect as Ricardo Torres, a 37-year-old from Manhattan, and took him to the 114th Precinct in Astoria for further investigation.
Through the investigation, the NYPD discovered that Jay Peralta, a 20-year-old from Corona, and Kevin Remache, a 19-year-old from Manhattan, were also involved in the seven incidents.
Investigators also determined that Peralta was responsible for numerous unauthorized transmissions over police radio frequencies beginning in April, including bomb threats involving a pressure cooker, threats to shoot police officers and false calls of officers in distress.
They also identified Torres as responsible for providing the two-way radios to the other suspects.
Upon executing a search warrant on Torres’ home, officers found he was in possession of 15 Portable Radios, nine Scanners, nine hand-held microphones, four speakers, two roof antennas, one amplifier, four laptops, two Desktops computers, three cellphones, seven CDs, one camcorder, and a note pad.
Torres was charged with possession of burglar’s tools, two counts of unlawful possession of radio devices, two counts of second-degree robbery, and two counts of first-degree criminal impersonation.
Remache was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree criminal impersonation.
Peralta was charged with three counts of second-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree criminal impersonation, four counts of making terroristic threats, seven counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, seven counts of second-degree obstructing governmental administration, five counts of third-degree falsely reporting an incident, and two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment.
During the investigation, police also discovered Remache and Peralta set fire to a black Chevrolet SUV at 70-20 47 Avenue on August 8, and both were charged with arson and reckless endangerment.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
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