Dec. 14, 2023 By Bill Parry
An armed robbery crew targeted three businesses in two Queens police precincts during a five-day crime spree this month, according to the NYPD.
The most recent heist occurred in the 104th Precinct on the night of Saturday, Dec. 9 when three men entered a store located at 59-11 71st Ave. in Ridgewood at around 10:20 p.m. One of the men pulled out a handgun and the suspects forcibly removed $1,000 in cash and various store merchandise valued at $400 before running out of the establishment in an unknown direction, police said.
The string of armed robberies began in the 105th Precinct on the night of Sunday, Dec. 3 when the three men entered the 4 Star Deli & Grill at 218-30 Merrick Blvd. in Laurelton just before 10:30 p.m., pulled out silver handguns and demanded cash from a store employee, police said. The worker complied, handing over $1,500 in cash and the suspects proceeded to grab merchandise valued at $175 from the shelves before running off on foot on Merrick Boulevard in an unknown direction.
The following night, a fourth suspect joined the crew to allegedly rob a smoke shop located at 55-14 Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood. The men entered the store just before 10 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 and pulled out handguns before forcibly removing $2,000 in cash and store merchandise valued at $400 before running off in an unknown direction, police said. No one was injured during each of the three heists.
The NYPD released surveillance photos of the three suspects who hit the smoke shop in Ridgewood and described them as having dark complexions. One of the men wore a blue and gray sweatshirt with New York across the chest, a dark head-and-face covering and dark pants. The second man wore a gray hooded Nike sweatshirt and ripped blue jeans and the third man wore a black hooded sweatshirt and face covering and dark pants.
A reward of up to $3,500 is being offered for information that leads to their arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. Through Dec. 10, the 104th Precinct has reported 214 robberies so far in 2023, a dozen more than the 202 reported at the same point last year, according to the most recent CompStat report. The 105th Precinct has reported 163 robberies as of Dec. 10, 8 fewer than the 171 reported at the same point in 2022.