Two alleged robbers had the right to remain silent, but instead opened their mouths and inserted their feet.
The suspects cuffed in a wild New York City armed robbery spree bragged to reporters that they’d be out on bail soon enough — only to wind up being held in custody thanks to an attitude adjustment from federal law enforcement officials.
When the pair were first cuffed for a string off holdups throughout the city, 34-year-old Alvin Velez boldly joked “In 24 hours, I’ll be out on bail,” Fox 5 News reported. However, the alleged stick-up man cried innocence as he was hauled out of the 110th Precinct stationhouse in Elmhurst, Queens just before midnight on Jan. 31.
“Nothing happened. I didn’t do it,” Perez hollered as cops led him out of the stationhouse in shackles, a stark contrast to his earlier statements.
But according to sources familiar with the investigation, Velez and alleged accomplice 24-year-old Carlos Perez will be prosecuted by the feds and will not be released on bail. Both men have prior criminal records, with Perez harboring a weapons conviction to his name and Velez having served over half a decade for attempted murder.
Police say the brazen criminals were cuffed for a one-day crime spree that targeted 13 victims across Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
At around 1 a.m. on Jan. 31, the pair allegedly robbed two women at gunpoint who were on a Corona sidewalk. The men took both women’s cellphones and a necklace, police said. Minutes later, authorities said, they robbed two people at gunpoint in the lobby of the Woodside Motor Inn, located at 65-09 Queens Blvd., and stole a cellphone and a wallet containing cash.
Sources familiar with the case said that responding officers obtained video footage of the suspects taken at the motel, which included the van’s license plate. Cops were then able to track the vehicle down hours later when the license plate appeared in their system as they went over a city bridge. A police helicopter was then sent out to track down Velez and Perez.
However, prior to going over the bridge, the busy bandits traveled to Brooklyn and robbed an individual at gunpoint at around 1:45 a.m. at the corner of North 11th Street and Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. Cops said the pair took the victim’s cash.
Law enforcement sources said the armed duo then drove back to Queens and robbed six people at gunpoint who were sitting in an outdoor dining area in Jackson Heights, located at 72nd Street and Broadway, at around 2 a.m. The suspects took credit cards and cash, according to police.
Authorities said the pair then drove into Manhattan, where they robbed a man at gunpoint at around 2:42 a.m. who was working at a food truck at 70 Washington Square Park. The suspects took cash.
Police reported that the men then drove up to the Bronx, where they targeted a person who was on the sidewalk on Seaman Avenue at around 3:10 a.m. and stole the victim’s bag and personal property at gunpoint.
The NYPD Aviation Unit finally observed the suspects’ van at Cedar Avenue and West 179th Street, near the entrance to the Major Deegan Expressway, where it crashed.
Officers arrived on the scene and arrested Velez, who was then taken into custody. Perez allegedly attempted to get away on foot. Cops apprehended him in a courtyard at 1991 Sedgwick Ave.
Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell