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Queens Village man jailed for subway stop robberies

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A former New York City Transit worker and Queens Village resident was sentenced to five to 10 years in jail for a monthlong string of robberies singling out middle-aged women at subway stops in Rego Park and Astoria, the Queens district attorney said.

Robert Bahamonde, 47, of 209-40 111th Ave. pleaded guilty to robbery in early April and was sentenced last Thursday by State Supreme Court Justice Stanley Katz in Kew Gardens.

“The defendant targeted middle-aged women as they waited on subway platforms,” DA Richard Brown said. “The sentence is more than warranted and will protect society and deter future acts of violence.”

He said Bahamonde, who robbed four women in the subway from May 21 to June 16, grabbed the women’s purses and hightailed it down the subway tunnel, confident nobody would follow. He then would rifle through the pocketbooks, taking anything of value and then discard the purses.

According to the district attorney’s office, Bahamonde’s former job with the Transit Authority was to track subway maintenance work. Because of his job Bahamonde was familiar with the subway tunnels, which enabled him to escape, the DA’s office said.

Bahamonde first struck May 21. He stole the pocketbook of a 49-year-old woman as she waited for the northbound “R” at the Steinway Street station in Astoria, Brown said.

Three weeks later on June 14, he robbed a 65-year-old woman as she waited for the northbound “R” train at the 67th Street station in Rego Park, according to the DA.

The next day, June 15, Bahamonde’s victim was a 52-year-old woman, who he robbed as she waited for the northbound “F” train at the 75th Street station in Rego Park, Brown said.

His next victim on the following day was a 64-year-old woman waiting for the northbound “R” train at the 63rd Drive station in Rego Park, the DA said.

The police were able to link Bahamonde to the crime through fingerprints he left on a cigarette pack in one of the victim’s pocketbooks, which police found in the subway tunnel. Only one of the four pocketbooks was retrieved by the Police Department.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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