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Queens Chronicle

Man arrested in flat tire robbery spree

Suspect accused in four incidents

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Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:30 am

A College Point man has been arrested for four of the more than a dozen robberies that have occurred all over Queens in which victims are robbed after perpetrators offer help for flat tires.

Mario Gutierrez, 50, of 125-17 11 Ave., College Point, was nabbed Monday and indicted on his alleged involvement in four of the robberies.

Gutierrez faces charges of grand larceny in the third degree for two for the incidents. The first was on Aug. 9, 2012, when a suspect allegedly informed a driver who had just exited a Bank of America on Parsons and Northern boulevards that he had a flat tire. As one of the suspects pretended to inspect the tire, another stole property from the victim’s vehicle. The other incident occurred on March 23 at 101st Avenue and 121st Street in Richmond Hill, when a suspect informed a victim that the air in her tires was low and another suspect later robbed the victim while the first perpetrator was supposedly checking the tire.

Gutierrez further faces two counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, one each for an incident on Feb. 21, in which a victim was robbed of items from her car after driving from a secluded part of Maspeth to a tire repair shop in Sunnyside, and on Feb. 28 in Flushing, where a victim was robbed of items in his car after being distracted when a suspect sprayed a substance on his jacket.

Police did not specify what role Gutierrez is accused of playing in each robbery and are still looking for at a role least one more suspect in those incidents and the others across the city.

The spree began with the Aug. 9 robbery and includes 16 citywide, 13 of which took place in Queens. Most of the robberies occurred in Flushing, but there were two in Howard Beach over the winter that caught the concern of the 106th Precinct.

Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, commanding officer of the precinct, warned residents multiple times this winter of the spree after the two incidents in Howard Beach.

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