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Queens MTA Clerk Helped Stage Her Own Robbery, Prosecutors Say

By Paul DeBenedetto | May 15, 2013 5:03pm | Updated on May 15, 2013 7:55pm
 An MTA token booth is accused of being involved in her own robbery, police said.
An MTA token booth is accused of being involved in her own robbery, police said.
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David Goldman/Getty Images

CORONA — The next stop might be prison.

An MTA token booth clerk who claimed she was tied up and robbed on the job was arrested on Wednesday after police said she was in on the caper — cooking up a half-baked plot that included the thieves asking her to warm up food.

In the bizarre incident, Tracy King, 48, from Jamaica, told police that she was approached by Bedford-Stuyvesant resident Anthony Brown, 42, wearing a reflective contractor's vest outside of her token booth about 11 a.m. on Saturday, in the 111th Street 7 train station at Roosevelt Avenue.

After asking to heat up his food in a break room, King claimed the man duct-taped her hands and mouth, then took the key and unlocked the booth, according to the Queens District Attorney's office.

"I don't want to hurt you," King said Brown told her. "It's all about the money."

King was later found tied up in the break room by other MTA employees. Police found a roll of duct tape and a plastic container with a fingerprint matching Brown's in the break room.

But Brown told a different story to police, according to the district attorney's office. 

Brown told police that King asked him if he "wanted to make some money," and told him to come to the booth at that time, according to prosecutors. When he got there, King told him about the money, and asked for $2,000 for herself, Brown claimed.

Brown also allegedly told police that the duct tape was King's idea, in order to make the robbery look more believable. He also told investigators he had no gun, and that the two were friends who had known each other for about 10 years, according to the district attorney's office.

Phone records also allegedly show Brown calling King on her cell phone, including a call from a day before the "robbery," prosecutors said.

Brown was arrested on Monday, after police executed a search warrant on his house and found a reflective vest, a metal grinder, grinding blades and painter's tape, according to the district attorney's office. Police also found $2,334 in cash inside the Queens apartment of Brown's girlfriend.

About $4,000 in cash was stolen from the booth, prosecutors said.

Both were charged with grand larceny, defrauding the government and falsely reporting an incident. If convicted, both face up to seven years in prison, according to the Queens DA.