A mass robber terrorizing Ridgewood over the last few weeks is finally off the streets after being arrested in Brooklyn last Wednesday, according to 104th Precinct Capt. Christopher Manson.
At a media briefing held at the precinct last week, Manson announced that he believes Bryant Aguilar, 21, of Menahan Street in Bushwick is the man behind the string of five knifepoint robberies within the 104th Precinct between Feb. 21 and Feb. 24.
According to the NYPD, Aguilar was arrested while trying to shoplift from a supermarket in Bushwick on Feb. 25.
He was charged with petit larceny for the alleged attempted theft and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Then on Feb. 26, he was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon for robberies of two women in their 20s on Feb. 8 and Feb. 19 within the confines of the 83rd Precinct.
Manson said Aguilar will eventually be charged with four of the five Queens robberies once he is processed in Brooklyn.
“He was picked out of a lineup in two of the cases and he made written confessions for two more,” the precinct commander said. “His crimes were particularly brutal in the fact that his typical MO was a female where he would run up to them at night with a long knife and he would give two or three commands.”
According to Manson, Aguilar has six prior arrests for mostly minor crimes such as petit larceny and criminal trespassing, but the dramatic escalation in the nature of his alleged crimes made him a menace to the neighborhood.
“He’s in jail, thank God,” he said. “He was a terror.”
Three of the robberies occurred within a span of just nine hours on Feb. 24, but none of the victims were injured.
When it comes to the enforcement of non-violent crime, Manson and Timothy Brown, the 104th Precinct’s new executive officer, both spoke of how the precinct plans to enforce the new ban on the use of electric bicycles and scooters passed by the City Council last year.
The law targets food delivery drivers who sometimes speed excessively on the streets or even the sidewalks, endangering themselves and pedestrians, and Brown says they will be the first people the precinct will crack down on.
“E-bikes are dangerous and illegal,” Brown said. “We would like restaurants to work with us and not use them anymore.”
Those who ride their e-bikes safely and slowly, Manson said, should have very little to worry about, even if operating such devices in any capacity is illegal.
“If you drive your scooter correctly in the righthand lane and if you signal safely, we won’t even notice you,” he said.
When it comes to the actual enforcement of the law, Manson is planning for a sizable amount of e-bike seizures.
“We’re going to be looking at the law and we’re going to find out about seizures because we want to do it right,” he said. “We’re going to be conducting an operation once it gets warmer out. We’ll make sure we have room in our garage because we’re going to be seizing bikes.”