Officers arrest suspect connected to at least seven robberies in Sunset Park

A suspect cops say they have tied to at least seven robberies occurring over a period of nearly a year has been apprehended by officers from the 72nd Precinct.

On Thursday, May 7 at approximately 2:35 a.m., the alleged perp, a 24-year-old Asian male approximately 5’7″ tall and 160 pounds, was arrested and charged with robbery in the second degree after he robbed a male Asian in his 50s on his way home near 56th Street and Eighth Avenue. Aiding the police were two civilian patrol officers, Shiquan Lin and Fangjian Lin, both members of the precinct’s Civilian Observation Patrol (C.O.P.)

“Starting the end of last summer, we’ve had quite a few gunpoint robberies in the area, particularly along Eighth Avenue,” explained Captain Tommy Ng. “Last night, two members of the C.O.P. came across what appeared to be a dispute at 56th Street and Eighth Avenue, with two of my plainclothes officers right behind them. It was immediately discovered that a gun point robbery had just happened.”

The incident occurred after the victim, a cab driver, had parked his car, having finished his shift, according to Ng. When the suspect was observed running from the scene, said Ng, he had what appeared to be a firearm in his hand; it was eventually determined to be a fake gun.

The two police officers went in pursuit of the suspect, Ng recounted, with Sergeant de los Santos jumping into an unmarked police car, boxing the alleged perp in. With the help of Police Officer Cespedes, said Ng, the suspect was apprehended without any injuries.

With this one arrest, Ng said, the 72nd Precinct may have solved nearly a dozen robberies, including one at a Sunset Park bakery and grocery store.

“After arresting this individual, we did a lot of work and went back to some complaints we had from last year on gunpoint robberies. At this time, we believe that this individual was involved with numerous robberies, 10 at least,” Ng said. So far, said Ng, the suspect has admitted to seven. “He has been terrorizing the community, robbing people for a good 10 months.”

According to Ng, the suspect lives in Sunset Park. “He knows the area,” he stressed.

The two members of the C.O.P. who were first on the scene were happy to help apprehend the suspect.

“I was excited and nervous. I’m still thinking about it. I haven’t slept yet. It feels good to do something for the community,” said Shiquan.

“This is the first time I encountered this type of situation. We were very surprised,” Fangjian added.

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