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Gunman Linked to Muggings of Victims as Young as 14 Arrested, Police Say

By Emily Frost | February 19, 2016 11:23am
 Police arrested a man for a series of armed robberies near the Douglass Houses.
Police arrested a man for a series of armed robberies near the Douglass Houses.
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Facebook/Sharif Jackson

UPPER WEST SIDE — A 20-year-old gang member linked to a string of armed robberies last month on Columbus Avenue near the Frederick Douglass Houses has been arrested, police said.

Tarrell Webster, 20, was part of a two-man stickup crew that carried out four holdups near the public housing complex, which runs from West 100th to West 104th Street between Manhattan and West End avenues, between Jan. 5 and Jan. 23, according to 24th Precinct Deputy Inspector Marlon Larin.

"These were very alarming to us," Larin said, adding that the victims ages ranged from 14 to 58 years old.

"The two suspects were targeting people they knew did not live in the development," including food delivery workers and people who looked like students, Larin said at a precinct meeting Wednesday. In each case, the robbers flashed a gun and took money from the victims, he said. 

Police believe Webster was responsible for all four robberies, but prosecutors only charged him with two of the muggings. Police are still looking for his accomplice, Larin said. 

In one of the muggings, on Jan. 21, Webster approached a victim at 9:52 p.m. on Columbus Avenue near Douglass Houses, said "give me all your money or I'll shoot you" and then flashed a gun, according to police and a criminal complaint. 

Webster told the victim, who gave him money, "you have more money, and also give me your phone," the complaint said. 

Details about the victim's identity and the amount of money the individual supplied were not available. 

Two days later, Webster approached another victim at 12:10 p.m. and said, "hey papi give me all your money and nothing is going to happen to you" before flashing a gun, according to the complaint. The victim handed over cash and other items, the complaint said.

Further details were not available.

Surveillance footage showed Webster wearing a bomber jacket featuring four icons on the back. On Jan. 29, police spotted a man wearing the same jacket and drinking in public at the housing complex. They brought him into the precinct for that offense, but were able to tie him to two of the robberies, Larin said. 

Webster is a resident of The Bronx but a member of a local gang, Larin said, adding that his arrest "was a major success story for the Upper West Side."

He was charged with two counts of second degree robbery, and was ordered held on $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond at the Brooklyn Detention Complex.

His lawyer declined to comment. 

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