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Queens Chronicle

Police search for flat tire robbers

Thieves steal property after offering help to victims with changing a tire

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Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:58 am, Thu Mar 14, 2013.

Police are looking for a trio of thieves who allegedly rob their victims after offering their help to fix a tire.

The three suspects have committed a dozen grand larcenies all across Queens since last summer.

In each incident, the victim is approached by one of the suspects, who distracts the victim, usually by informing them that their vehicle has a flat tire.When the victim and one of the suspects inspect the damage, the other suspects remove property from the interior of the vehicle.

Police suspect that the perpetrators may have slashed the victims’ tires before informing them of their flats.

The first incident took place in Flushing on Aug. 9, 2012, when one of the suspects informed the victim that he had a flat tire on College Point Boulevard. As the suspect inspected the tire, an accomplice removed items from the car.

Further incidents took place somewhere in Bayside on Dec. 15, 2012; on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach on Jan. 16 and Feb. 5; somewhere in Ridgewood on Feb. 1; on 154th Street on Jan. 19 and Northern Boulevard in Flushing on Jan. 22, Feb. 2 and Feb. 28; on Jamaica Avenue in Queens Village on Feb. 15; on 131st Street in Richmond Hill on Feb. 15 and at a tire repair shop on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside on Feb. 21.

In at least three of the cases, the victims are targeted after leaving a bank.

In both the Feb. 15 and Feb. 28 incidents, the victims reported that the suspects sprayed an unknown substance — possibly shaving cream — on their jackets to distract them.

In at least one case, the suspects did not take no for an answer.

In the Feb 21 incident, the victim was notified by one of the suspects of her flat tire on Review Avenue in West Maspeth near Calvary Cemetery. After declining their offer for help, she was followed by the suspects for more than a mile to the tire repair shop, where she was then robbed.

Anyone with information 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.

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