Police bust 8 in ice pick robbery ring

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At 8 p.m. Saturday, the group...

By Dustin Brown

Two rookie officers arrested eight suspected members of a pattern robbery ring known for wielding ice picks and stealing their victims’ shoes after they allegedly committed their 11th mugging last weekend, police said.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, the group of men surrounded a man as one of them pressed an ice pick to his back and forced him into an alleyway near 73rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue, said Sgt. Richard Kemmler, a police spokesman.

After allegedly stealing the 25-year-old victim’s cash and credit cards, the suspects forced him to remove his shoes, which police eventually recovered along with the ice pick and a screwdriver, Kemmler said.

Immediately after being attacked, the victim approached Officers Rolette Cordero and William Brado, who had only started foot patrol Friday — their first assignment since leaving the Police Academy, Kemmler said.

After reporting the suspects’ descriptions over the radio, the officers encountered them at 78th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, apprehending three after a foot chase, police said.

Five more suspects were arrested shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday at the corner of 41st Avenue and 101st Street, according to Kemmler.

Police arrested Edward Alvarez, 20, 52-09 Junction Blvd.; Antonio Flores, 22, 40-23 Ithaca St.; Miguel Anzurers, 32, 37-42 86th St.; Jose Tapia, 19, 42-82 80th St.; John Gusmand, 16, 17-37 97th St.; Efrain Morales, 20, 98-02 98th St. Armando Lopez,19, 17-37 97th St.; and Juan Carlos Baez Rodriguez, 20, 31-10 41st St.

All eight suspects have been charged with robbery, attempted robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon, police said. Police said they believe the suspects were responsible for 11 street robberies between Jan. 26 and March 10.

“The suspects would approach and surround the victims, threaten physical force with a screwdriver or ice pick, and remove the victims’ property,” said Kemmler. “In several cases, they would take the victim’s shoes before fleeing.”

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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