A gang of alleged would-be burglars were caught in the act by police early Friday morning outside a deli in Kew Gardens Hills.
Police responded to a 911 call at about 3 a.m. of a burglary in progress at the corner of 71st Avenue and Kissena Boulevard, outside the JK Deli. Sgt. Richard Lavelle and Officer Michael Gannon of the anti-crime unit and Officers Gina Ayoung and Michelle Lopez in a 107th Precinct sector patrol car arrived at the scene and noticed damage to the ceiling of the store and the ATM machine.
Lavelle called for backup from the Emergency Service Unit to secure the area while he gained access to the roof by climbing through the hole in the ceiling. He discovered four men trying to hide on the north side wall on the roof.
The suspects ran in separate directions with one apprehended in an elevator of an adjoining building; two from trees near the deli and the fourth taken by Lavelle after a brief struggle. No one was injured.
All were placed under arrest. A fifth person allegedly involved in the crime was waiting in a nearby parked vehicle and he also was placed under arrest.
Police recovered more than $12,000 in cash from the ATM, 3,518 lottery scratch-off tickets, 162 packs of cigarettes and 49 boxes of cigars. Also recovered were hammers, a pry bar, a drill, a flashlight and a propane torch.
Arrested were: Robert Martin, 27, of 101st Avenue in Ozone Park; Jose Rosario, 25, of 91st Street in Woodhaven; Christopher Aulet, 21, of Brooklyn; Sean Martin, 19, of 101st Avenue in Ozone Park; and a 15-year-old whose name was not released.
Charges include burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and possession of burglar’s tools.
Anyone with information in regard to similar incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting 274637 (CRIMES), then entering TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential.