Men Who Robbed SoHo Woman Wanted for Mugging Spree, Police Say

By Murray Weiss and Claire Oliver  on July 12, 2013 12:40pm

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 NYPD believes eight recent robberies in Manhattan, Queens are connected.
Citywide Robbery Pattern
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SOHO — A pair of armed men who held up a SoHo woman at gunpoint outside her Grand Street apartment last week — fleeing with some electronics after she told them they didn't have the "balls" to pull the trigger — are believed to be part of a larger crime spree that stretches across Manhattan and Queens, police said.

The NYPD released descriptions late Thursday of four suspects — two men and two women — wanted in connection with eight armed robberies over the past two weeks, including a string of incidents in Forest Hills.

The incidents, many of which involved a knife or gun, occurred in the early morning hours. In some cases the suspects drove a white a sedan, police said.

Sources said investigators were questioning two women Friday morning — and authorities were pressing them to reveal the identities of the men, who are accused of pulling a gun on Anna Graham outside her Grand Street apartment about 1:20 a.m. July 3.

The suspects allegedly committed two other armed robberies the same night within a matter of hours stretching from Forest Hills to Kips Bay.

Graham, 54, was smoking a cigarette in her pajamas when she was approached by two men who demanded that she hand over her wallet, she told DNAinfo New York. When she told the men she didn't have any money, one of them aimed a gun first at her head, then at her chest.

“I said, ‘To shoot someone, you need to have balls. It doesn’t look like you have any,’” Graham said.

Two of Graham's friends interrupted the confrontation, and the men fled with an iPad Mini, $600 in cash and $100 in makeup.

A little more than an hour earlier, the two men, who were driving a white sedan, allegedly pulled a gun on a 66-year-old man near 70th Avenue and Fleet Street in Forest Hills about 12:15 a.m., police said. The suspects threatened the victim, and one held him down while another went through his pockets, police said.

After heading into Manhattan and confronting Graham, the suspects struck again at 2:15 a.m. in Kips Bay, police said. 

The suspects followed a 34-year-old man into his building near East 25th Street and Second Avenue, pulled a gun on him and took his property and debit card PIN, police said. One of the men bound the victim's hands with a cord while the other withdrew money from his account at a nearby ATM. They both fled on foot, police said.

The first robbery was just a few days earlier, when the suspects made off with a 50-year-old woman's purse and jewelry near Slocum Crescent and Greenway Terrace in Forest Hills just after midnight June 29, police said.

Early the next day, the group struck two victims within blocks of each other in the East Village, police said.

First, one of the female suspects approached a 26-year-old woman outside her apartment at East Third Street and First Avenue about 4:50 a.m., demanding her debit card and PIN, police said. They fled after getting her wallet and pin number.

Five minutes later, a 24-year-old woman who was hailing a cab near East First Street and Second Avenue was approached by a white sedan allegedly driven by one of the male suspects.

The woman got into the car, and female passengers went through her pocketbook, taking her debit card and asking for her PIN. They eventually dropped her off at the corner of West 49th Street and 10th Avenue.

Then, on July 2, the two female suspects threatened a 51-year-old man in Rego Park near 63rd and Alderton avenues, taking his wallet and gym bag and leaving the scene in a white sedan, police said.

The latest robbery in the pattern occurred in the West Village about 1:45 a.m. July 5, when a woman pulled a gun on a 33-year-old man near the corner of Hudson and Perry streets and made off with his property and debit card, along with his PIN, police said.

A police spokesman initially denied that the Queens robberies were part of a pattern. The spokesman also said that a man was arrested for the robbery on Slocum Crescent on July 7, but said that the case was sealed.

He would not explain why the arrest was sealed.

The NYPD described all four suspects as being in their early to mid-20s. One man is 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, and the other is 5-foot-5, police said.

Police are asking that anyone with information related to these robberies call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. The public can also leave tips online, or text them by dialing 274637 (CRIMES) and entering TIP577.

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