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Flushing muggings suspect held

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Darrel Cordes, 39, of 132-35 Sanford Ave. in Flushing was apprehended at 164th Street and the Horace Harding Expressway 15 minutes after he robbed a woman at knifepoint at the corner of Kissena Boulevard and Cherry Avenue, the Police Department said.Police contend that Cordes mugged and assaulted at least 15 women, many of them elderly, and often only several blocks away and within mere minutes of each other.Several phone calls to the 109th Police Precinct were not returned, but officers at Police Department headquarters in Manhattan said the robberies took place in numerous locations throughout the 109th Precinct, which covers Flushing, Whitestone and College Point.Most of the robberies occurred within the Flushing area, police said.Cordes is charged with robbery, assault and criminal possession of stolen property, authorities said.Cordes began his robbery spree on Oct. 28 when he approached a woman from behind on College Point Boulevard and 41st Avenue, snatched her purse and fled in the opposite direction, police said. Several hours later, on Maple Avenue, Cordes used a knife to cut the purse from the shoulder of a 50-year-old woman, and sliced her hand in the process, police said.Over the next several months, Cordes grew even more violent in his efforts to rob women, according to police. He began approaching his victims from behind and either placed them in chokeholds, headlocks or grabbed them by the neck while he snatched their purses, police said.Police said he placed one 72-year-old woman in such a forceful chokehold that she lost consciousness for 20 minutes. When she woke up, she realized her purse was stolen, police said.In other instances, he would punch his victim to the ground, police said.During one of the most recent muggings, police alleged that Cordes followed a 40-year-old woman home to her Ash Avenue apartment, entered the elevator with her and got out on her floor. When they were alone, police said he grabbed her by the neck, stole her purse and fled the scene.Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 728-229-300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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