Police in New York City say a pair of armed robbers have been on a coronavirus crime spree over the past several weeks, targeting at least four individuals in brutal robberies that have left several victims with injuries.
Authorities believe the pair’s first robbery took place in mid-March, when a gas station in Queens was targeted. The clerk in the station was able to close a plexiglass window and the suspects fled without getting any cash or harming anyone. That changed in the second robbery police have connected to the suspects. On April 8th, the robbers targeted a woman at an ATM.
One of the suspects, wearing a “Star Wars” cap and blue surgical mask, pistol-whipped the 44-year-old victim as his partner — in a black mask — snatched her purse and fled with a cellphone, a debit card and $900 in cash, cops said. On the way out, the gunman punched a man rushing to help the victim.
Three days later, the bandits followed 83-year-old Joseph Greene into the elevator of his Brooklyn building just after 2 p.m. Both wore blue surgical masks and white gloves, with one knocking the octogenarian to the floor and putting a gun to his head as they made off with two money orders worth $150, his IDs and his Electronic Benefits Transfer card.
The New York Daily News reports that the pair’s violence escalated with an an attack on Guillermo Martinez, a 63-year old delivery driver who was on his early morning route delivering bread when he was targeted.
Martinez was ambushed while walking back to his parked van arounf 4:30 a.m. after delivering bread to a Bronx bodega, police said. One of the gunmen was waiting inside the gray 1997 Chevrolet van on E. 167th St. in Morrisania — and he ordered Martinez to get in with him. When Martinez refused, the robber pumped a bullet into Martinez and sped away in the van, police said.
The bullet tore through Martinez’s hand and ripped into his pancreas, sending him to Lincoln Hospital in serious condition.
While in the hospital, Martinez contracted the COVID-19 virus, and his family says they’ve been unable to see him or even talk to him over the phone in the days since his diagnosis.
None of the robbers’ victims were armed and able to protect themselves, thanks to New York City’s draconian gun laws that make it almost impossible for the average citizen to obtain a license to carry. Of course the armed robbers don’t seem too worried about violating the city’s laws against carrying without a license. If they are eventually caught, they’ll be facing far more serious charges, and if they aren’t arrested, well, they won’t be facing any charges at all.
New York City’s gun laws didn’t stop a single one of these attacks, but only prevented good people from being able to protect themselves when violent criminals targeted them.