Gunpoint rob team strikes three times, hauls in $73,000 in cash and jewels
A scary two-man gunpoint robbery team has struck three times since Aug. 26 in the Bronx and northern Manhattan, grabbing about $73,000 in cash and jewels from late-night club patrons, police said Wednesday.
The team strikes at 4 a.m. or later, targeting victims wearing bling valued at $25,000 or more, particularly chains and watches.
Lt. Chris Devaney, commanding officer of the Bronx Robbery Squad, said the robbers appear to have been tipped off by a third person who checks out who’s dripping in pricey jewelry.
“Someone in this inner circle knows these clubs very well that these guys go to, and I think they are being tipped off that this guy’s wearing a nice chain, the guy’s wearing a Rolex,” Devaney said. “And they’ll let them get in their cars and they’ll follow them to whatever location they feel comfortable at, and then they’ll rob them at that point. They are specifically targeting the chains, the watches.”
About 4 a.m. on Aug. 26, the robbers pulled up to a couple as they got into their car near Broadway and Verveelen Place in Marble Hill and jumped out with guns drawn.
The victims – Mason Colon, 30, and his 29-year-old girlfriend – turned over $200 in cash and Colon’s $17,000 Rolex watch. The robbers took off south on Broadway in their burgundy Kia.
“We just started walking to my car. I got her in. They pulled up really fast said ‘Give me your chain’” Colon, a doorman on the West Side, told the Daily News. “They told me to get on the ground. They also took my wallet, my car keys and my house keys, everything I had in my pockets.”
The robbers took $200 in cash from Colon’s girlfriend, too.
“She said, ‘Don’t hurt me.’ One of them said, ‘We won’t hurt you. You’re beautiful,'” Colon said. “Am I gonna die? That’s the first thing I was thinking. That was a really difficult experience. I don’t wish that on anyone.”
A day later, on Aug. 27 about 4:55 a.m., the same robbers walked up to a 27-year-old man at a food truck on the corner of 9th Ave. and 207th St. in Inwood.
The thieves again pulled guns and stole $2,000 in cash and $25,000 worth of jewelry from the victim before jumping in a car and going east on 207th St.
Then, on Monday about 4 a.m., the robbers caught a 33-year-old man as he was walking into his home near Montgomery Ave. and W. 175th St. in Morris Heights. As previously, they pulled out guns and stole about $29,000 in jewelry, taking off in a BMW.
“We actually caught them on video without masks, but when they jump out they always mask up,” Devaney said. “They know that these guys are not fooling around, being masked up with guns. So nobody’s fighting them. They are just handing over whatever they have.”
In one instance, detectives recovered one of the cars used in the robberies. Inside, they found one of the masks, which was sent to a lab for DNA testing, Devaney said.