Sept. 17, 2019 By Allie Griffin
The NYPD is looking for a suspect who they say is connected to string of armed and often violent robberies in Astoria.
The unknown man allegedly robbed individuals and/or stores six times, once in August and five times in September, brandishing a handgun each time. In early September, he was particularly busy and committed three robberies over three days, according to police.
The first incident took place on Aug. 7 at 3:15 a.m. when the man demanded money at gunpoint from two employees inside iKraveit Foods at 34-02 30th St. The store employees refused to give him money, so instead the man stole their cell phones and fled southbound on 30th Street.
On the weekend of Friday, Sept. 6 to Sunday, Sept. 8, the suspect struck again each day.
On that Friday at 1:45 a.m., he stopped a 21-year-old woman and 21-year-old man who were walking together in Astoria Park, before displaying a silver handgun and demanding money.
When the male victim refused to handover cash, the suspect struck him in the head with his gun. The victim was later taken to Mount Sinai Hospital by ambulance and treated for a laceration. The suspect forcibly removed a $1,500 necklace and iPhone from the female victim before fleeing westbound into Astoria Park, police said.
On that Saturday, Sept. 7 at 3:20 a.m., the suspect tapped on the passenger window of a car parked in front of 24-51 Crescent St with his handgun, according to police. He told the 22-year-old man inside to step out of the car with his hands on his head. The suspect then stole $100 and a cell phone before fleeing.
The next day at 3:40 a.m., the suspect approached five individuals who were sitting on a stoop in front of 39-25 27th St. He displayed a black handgun and demanded money, at which point a 41-year-old man within the group said he didn’t have any money.
The suspect then struck him in the head, causing a laceration, police said. He then told the five people to lay on the ground and forcibly removed $800 worth of jewelry, two watches, one cell phone and $400 cash, according to police. He fled northbound on 27th Street and the wounded victim was taken to Cornell Medical Center by ambulance.
The suspect struck again on Sept. 12 at 5 a.m. inside Astoria Park near the pool. In a violent exchange, he approached a man who was walking in the park and demanded money from him at gunpoint.
The man grabbed the firearm which went off and struck the ground. As the two struggled, the suspect struck the man about the head and face with the gun, causing lacerations and bruising. He ran off and an ambulance transported the victim to NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst, according to police.
The latest incident occurred three days later on Sept. 15 at 6:15 a.m. A 17-year-old man was sitting in his car when the suspect tapped on the driver’s side window with a silver handgun. He instructed the teen to roll down the window and give him his property. The teen complied and gave him his wallet and cellphone. The suspect fled with the phone and an unknown amount of cash, police said.
The NYPD said the suspect is described as black with a dark complexion and full beard, about 150 lbs and approximately 5’10” tall. He was last seen wearing a green t-shirt, blue jeans, boots, black baseball cap, a backpack and handkerchief over his face.
Anyone with information in regard to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.