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Cell phone scam leads to Astoria robbery

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ASTORIA — A man’s plans to purchase a used cellphone in the parking lot of a Home Depot Jan. 8 backfired when he was robbed instead, according to a criminal complaint.

The victim told police that at about 12:30 p.m. Asdrubal Rodas, of 295 Grant Ave. in Brooklyn, approached him and offered to sell him a phone in the parking lot at 50-10 Northern Blvd., according to a criminal complaint filed by the DA’s office.

The victim sat in his car with Rodas to haggle over a price when Rodas allegedly grabbed the victim’s arms, according to the complaint. Another man then approached and allegedly said, “Don’t move” before reaching in through the driver’s-side window and allegedly removed cash from the victim’s pockets, according to the complaint.

The two men then fled in a car, but not before the victim called police with the license plate number, according to the complaint. Rodas was charged with robbery, according to police.

Updated 10:33 am, October 12, 2011
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