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Man arrested in string of robberies in Queens

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Darryl Gray, 42, of 55 LaSalle St. in Manhattan, was arrested a day after two women were robbed less than an hour apart, one in Forest Hills and the other in Flushing, said Detective Carolyn Chew, a police spokeswoman.

He was released from prison in October after serving 13 years, according to an official with the Parole Board.

Gray was charged with committing a series of five robberies in Queens, said Mary de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney. If convicted, Gray could face consecutive sentences of up to 25 years for each crime, de Bourbon said.

At about 6:10 p.m. last Thursday, Lt. Joseph Davids of the 112th Precinct said Gray allegedly followed a 52-year-old woman from a subway station into the elevator of her apartment building at 99-52 66th Rd. in Forest Hills. The woman was held up at knifepoint and her necklace was stolen, Davids said.

Nearly 50 minutes later, Gray allegedly followed a 41-year-old woman into her apartment building at 142-24 38th Ave. in Flushing, Chew said. She, too, was held at knifepoint and her purse was stolen, Chew said.

A day later, the police arrested Gray at the Roosevelt Ave. and 52nd Street subway station of the No. 7 line, Chew said.

Queens DA Richard Brown said Gray had been charged in five robberies committed in Queens over a four-week period: a Dec. 17 robbery inside a building on 51st Street; a Dec. 28 robbery inside a building on Baxter Avenue ; a Dec. 30 robbery inside a building on 46th Street; a Jan. 2 robbery inside a building on 47th Street; and a Jan. 4 robbery inside a building at 38th Avenue.

Gray had served 13 years of an 11-to-22 year sentence for multiple convictions in 1986, a Parole Board official said. Gray had been convicted of five counts of first-degree robbery, sodomy and attempted rape, as well as sex abuse, in that case, the official said.

Although he was eligible for parole in 1996, the Parole Board denied Gray's request for release, the official said. In 1998, Gray was again up for parole, and for a second time, the board denied it. Last year, after having served two-thirds of his sentence, he was released as required by law, the official said.

After the last robbery in Flushing, police officers from the 109th Precinct relayed a description of Gray to the transit police and to other precincts in the borough, police said.

Officers from the 108th Precinct in Sunnyside and Woodside then went to the subway station where they arrested Gray. The police brought Gray back to the 109th Precinct stationhouse for a six-man lineup, and all eight victims identified him as the man who robbed them, said a detective with the robbery squad at Queens Borough North.

"It worked because the cops in Flushing got the info out quickly," the detective said.

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