Police have identified “a person of interest” in their search for a gang of armed robbers that has been hitting 7-Eleven stores and gas stations since Thanksgiving weekend, 111th Precinct Capt. Ronald Leyson said.
On Tuesday morning, officers stopped a vehicle with three occupants at Northern Boulevard and Alameda Avenue near a 7-Eleven that was robbed in the predawn hours of Feb. 6.
“The officers took the driver’s license information and got names from the other two occupants,” Leyson said. “They had no probable cause to question the passengers or search the vehicle.”
An hour later, a gas station in the 109th Precinct was robbed by three men in a white SUV.
“Our officers heard the call on the radio and went to the location to view the security tape,” Leyson said. “It was the same type of vehicle with three men fitting the description.”
That day police issued a notice of a robbery pattern involving three men driving a late-model white Chevy Tahoe in a string of robberies in Astoria and Ozone Park. The suspects are believed to have ventured as far as Nassau County.
Leyson said the men are carrying handguns.
“They have also done a carjacking,” Leyson said, reviewing the notice.
The Douglaston 7-Eleven holdup was their first foray into the 111th, police said.
According to police, the trio had robbed a store in Astoria at 3:40 a.m. and hit the Douglaston site two hours later.
Leyson praised the work by his precinct’s officers.
“We now have a person of interest,” he said.