Workers at two auto parts franchises have been assailed by robbers in recent holdups – crimes that are hauntingly similar to another series of robberies that resulted in arrests.
Investigators said this week that the two Brooklyn Auto Zone robberies as well as a robbery of a CVS Pharmacy have been connected to the same crew.
It was unclear if the suspects are connected to a similar spree that detectives brought the hammer down on this past January.
Police said that the most recent spree began on May 5 when the three thieves – two men and a woman −− entered the Auto Zone on 86th Street and 15th Avenue in Bensonhurst.
Workers told police that the trio entered just before closing on the night of May 4 and pulled weapons on them.
The thieves then made the store manager open the safe before making off with $8,000 in receipts and a cell phone.
No injuries were reported.
It’s believed that the same crew conducted a 4 a.m. raid on a CVS Pharmacy at 2925 Kings Highway three days later at the morning of May 7.
Just like the earlier robbery, the thieves barged into the store, located near Nostrand Avenue, pulled guns and ran off with the store receipts.
The thieves laid low for about a week and then polished up their guns for a third mission – their second Auto Zone store, which they found at 1885 Flatbush Avenue near Avenue L in Flatlands.
Cops were told that when the thieves entered the store at 9:15 a.m. on May 14 both a male suspect and a female suspect pulled guns on hapless employees.
The thieves robbed workers of receipts and scrambled out the back door, police said.
The three thieves have been described as a 5’10”, 170−pound black man wearing a green, tan and white zip−up jacket with a hood, a 5’7”, 170−pound black woman wearing a blue zip−up jacket with a hood and a six−foot−tall, 190−pound black man in a black hooded jacket.
Police said that the one of the two males – the shorter one – was armed, as well as his female accomplice. The third man never produced a gun.
The trio wore gloves during the hold−ups and may have fled the area in a black four−door SUV.
For all their faults, the three suspects are not as violent as their predecessors – the three East Flatbush men who were arrested for committing a series of Auto Zone robberies on January 8.
Police alleged that suspected gunmen Ronald Britton, 21, of East 22nd Street, Devon Johnson, 22, of East 27th Street and 22−year−old Jermel Perineau of East 21st Street hit over six Auto Zone and Strauss Auto Parts stores throughout the borough between August 2008 and the time of their arrest.
During some of the heists, the suspects allegedly pistol−whipped store workers who wouldn’t cooperate with them.