Top NYPD brass introduced Wednesday the cops who helped nab the duo responsible for a wild, two-hour robbery spree throughout three boroughs Jan. 31 while also admonishing the justice system for allowing the ex-cons back on the street.
Chief of Patrol John Chell lauded the officers in a press conference Feb. 1. He also had praise for the precincts for sharing resources, which led to the NYPD apprehending the men.
“These ladies and gentlemen to my right here, this is what our great cops look like,” Chell gushed. “They have the ability to talk amongst each other in multiple boroughs on one frequency. These young midnight cops all working together, hearing each other speak. They have our aviation units, our eye in the sky, our highway people out there all converging talking together working as one and they did a tremendous job getting two violent people off the street that, quite frankly, should not have been out there.”
Police describe the two suspects—34-year-old Alvin Velez and 24-year-old Carlos Perez—as two men who should never have never been on the street to commit the rampage to begin with. According to Chief of Detectives James Essig, the men allegedly stole a white van and went on a rampage that lasted just over two hours throughout Queens, Bronx, and Manhattan in which they made at least seven stickup robberies. A total of 13 people were robbed at gunpoint.
“They shouldn’t be out on our streets. They are on parole for bad crimes—attempted murder—they’re on parole, and they get arrested numerous times again. They’re out on the street, they steal a car at gunpoint. Ride through three boroughs, pointing guns at people, pistol whipping people. We were lucky something more serious didn’t happen,” Chief Essig said.
Police say Velez has 11 prior arrests dating back to 2001 for crimes such as sexual abuse, resisting arrest, assault, attempted murder, and more. He apparently served 8 years behind bars before being released in November of 2021. While on parole, he was arrested five more times.
Perez, the alleged partner in crime, is a Bronx 280 gang member, Essig said. He also has a long rap sheet, including holding loaded firearms and being locked up in 2019 for a conspiracy case and attempted murder. He was released in August 2021, and was arrested again for violating parole.
NYPD shared the traumatic footage with amNewYork Metro showcasing how police were able to pinpoint where the suspects were by utilizing the NYPD aviation unit.
The pair ultimately crashed the vehicle. During the arrest, cops recovered a ghost gun allegedly used in the crimes.
The men are now facing a federal investigation.