The man cops say impersonated a police officer and held up at least five businesses in Bensonhurst and Coney Island has been arrested.
According to police, 36-year-old Camilo Arcelay — a Bensonhurst resident himself — was apprehended and charged with four counts of robbery in the third degree and four counts of criminal impersonation in the first following a string of incidents in which he allegedly claimed to be a New York City Police Officer (and in one case, a detective) and insisted the businesses hand over their cash.
His name and photo were released to the public following the most recent incident, an attempted robbery that occurred just before 2 a.m. on Tuesday, April 11 at Gourmet Deli & Grill, 6318 18th Avenue, during which, according to cops, Arcelay did not display a gun or a badge, but instead was wearing a blue t-shirt with an NYPD patch embroidered on it.
Police say they have since connected the would-be robbery — and Arcelay — to a string of four other recent police impersonations that have occurred since Thursday, April 6 in both Bensonhurst and Coney Island.
According to authorities, the other impersonations took place at Gongs Laundromat (7324 20th Avenue in Bensonhurst) on Thursday, April 6; at Coney Island Food Market Corp. (2901 West 21st Street in Coney Island) on Saturday, April 8; at D Deli & Smoke Shop (6901 New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst) on Sunday, April 9 and at Paksey Associate Grocery (2006 86th Street in Bensonhurst) on Monday, April 10.
In nearly all of the incidents, cops say Arcelay flashed the same police patch. Additionally, during Monday’s incident, the perp is said to have identified himself as a detective and stated that he was there to inspect cigarette tax stamps. He made off with money (his largest haul being $2,500 from the Coney Island grocery store) in all four other incidents.
Shortly after his arrest, a Tweet was posted to the 62nd Precinct’s Twitter account that read, “He is now in Police custody… the real Police!”