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Long Islander faces life in prison for gunpoint robbery of a Junction Boulevard jewelry store: Feds

A Long Island man was arraigned Tuesday for his role in an armed robbery at a Junction Boulevard jewelry store that left one of the owners with gunshot wounds last December. Photos courtesy of the NYPD

July 10, 2024 By Bill Parry 

A Long Island man is criminally charged for being part of a crew that committed a violent gunpoint robbery at a Jackson Heights jewelry store last December, during which the store owner was shot.

Ildemar Chirinos-Torres, 29, of Freeport, was arraigned Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court on an indictment charging him with robbery of a jewelry store, discharging a firearm during the robbery and interstate transportation of stolen property.

According to the indictment and public filings, on the evening of Dec. 12, 2023, Chirinos-Torres and two others robbed a jewelry store at gunpoint at 35-35 Junction Blvd. while a fourth co-conspirator acted as a lookout in front of the shop. During a struggle with the 59-year-old store owner, one of the defendant’s co-conspirators fired a gun multiple times, striking the owner in the leg with one bullet and grazing his face with another.

After stealing approximately $120,000 in jewelry, Cirinos-Torres and his co-conspirators fled on two mopeds. The stolen jewelry was then transported from New York to Florida, which made this a federal case. Police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights responded to a 911 call of a robbery at the location and found the wounded store owner. He was transported to Elmhurst Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

“As alleged, Chirino-Torres and his co-conspirators stole from, threatened and viciously shot a hardworking merchant during a violent gunpoint robbery of a neighborhood jewelry store,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said.

Evidence obtained pursuant to search warrants for the defendant’s phones collaborated his involvement in the armed robbery. For example, a selfie taken approximately two hours before the heist showed Chirinos-Torres wearing clothing and a messenger bag consistent with the clothing and messenger bag worn by one of the perpetrators during the armed robbery, according to the indictment. The phones also contained images of jewelry taken days after the robbery that the store owners confirmed was consistent with jewelry stolen from the store.

“We will continue to vigorously prosecute in federal court armed robbers like the defendant who jeopardize the safety and security of members of our community,” Peace said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lara Eshkenazi ordered Chirinos-Torres detained pending trial. If convicted, Chirinos-Torees faces up to life imprisonment.

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