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Alleged subway mugger busted at Rego Park stop

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Cary Cutter, a homeless man with family in the Bronx, is believed to have assaulted, then robbed up to 13 woman in their 60s and 70s at various Forest Hills area subway stops, according to Transit Detective Gary Marmaro, who led the investigation. The suspect allegedly dragged one woman down concrete steps and broke her arm, he said.Following several reports on the muggings, the Transit Bureau put out more uniformed and plainclothes officers and stepped up video surveillance along the Queens Boulevard corridor, where the E, F, G, R and V lines run, police said.The first incident occurred Dec. 18 when a man grabbed a woman's purse as she was leaving the 75th Avenue station on her way to a dentist appointment, according to Marmaro. Marmaro said he was convinced that the string of crimes was carried out by Cutter since he followed the same pattern: punch the victim in the face, steal her bag and flee down the subway tunnel."Running into the tunnel was pretty unique because it's scary and you've got to know what you're doing," the detective said in an interview at the Van Wyck station below Queens Boulevard and Main Street where the District 20 transit police offices are located.The number of patrols along the lines were soon increased and more cameras were set up in the stations. Marmaro instructed officers to respond immediately to reports of a mugging.The call that brought Cutter down came around 5:30 a.m. April 5 when a woman screamed for help after being roughed up and robbed of her purse at the 63rd Drive subway entrance. Two stations west of the stop and two to the east were shut down, Marmaro said. According to police, an officer spotted Cutter emerge from the dark tunnel at 67th Avenue. The officer arrested him and found the victim's wallet, $300 and a kitchen knife in his possession, police said.Marmaro said Cutter, who has 10 previous arrests on robbery, narcotics and assault charges, admitted he committed the acts to support a crack habit. He is now at Riker's Island awaiting line-ups as a suspect in three additional subway muggings in Manhattan, Marmaro said.Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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