Stick-up trio is busted - Men suspected of robbing grocery stores, gas stations

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A slew of gas station and grocery story robberies have been connected to three Flatbush men, officials said.

Police said that the suspects were taken into custody on December 10, bringing an end to a spree of gun-toting heists that stretch back to October 18.

As this paper went to press Jamal Diaz, 21, and Alexander Joseph, 22, both 1262 Rogers Avenue and Desmond McNeil, of 31 Hawthorne Street were facing multiple counts of robbery.

A fourth suspect, identified as Darnell Johnson, 24, of Horace Harding Expressway in Queens, was also arrested, officials said.

Originally, police believed that just two suspects -- not four -- were robbing gas stations and convenience stores throughout Bensonhurst, Mill Basin, Canarsie and Bay Ridge.

Sources alleged that the thieves toggled between Brooklyn and Queens. Many of the robberies took place on the same day, they said.

In Canarsie, for example, thieves allegedly hit two convenience stores at the corner of East 105th Street and Flatlands Avenue and on Remsen Avenue on November 14.

Then, two days later, they allegedly came back to the neighborhood, robbing a gas station near the corner of Flatlands Avenue and East 84th Street.

Police said that the robberies began on October 18 in Queens.

The thieves then crossed the border on October 30, where they allegedly robbed a convenience store on Avenue M and East 50th Street.

The suspects are also responsible for robbing locations on Nostrand Avenue near Kings Highway (November 4), 29th Street in Sunset Park (November 9) Third Avenue and 73rd Street in Bay Ridge (November 11) and Avenue N and East 47th Street in Mill Basin (also November 11).

Police said that their last robbery was just after 2 a.m. on December 1, when they allegedly knocked over a grocery on New Utrecht Avenue and 73rd Street.

The four suspects, police said, would work in pairs.

One would apparently go in as a customer just before the second man barged in with a white mask over his face, police alleged.

The suspects then pulled guns and demand employees empty out the cash register, police alleged.

Police did not disclose just how much money the thieves have taken over the last two months.

No injuries were ever reported.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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