Woman arrested in Queens robbery spree

August 24, 2010 2:47:17 PM PDT
A 48-year-old Kew Garden Hills woman has been charged with a series of Queens robberies committed since last Friday. "The defendant is accused of robbing five commercial establishments of various amount of money - ranging from $50 to $200 - over a four-day period while wearing a hat, a long wig, sunglasses and a blue dress and armed with a black and silver handgun. Fortunately, the gun turned out to be a toy and nobody was physically injured," District Attorney Richard Brown said.

According to the charges, Jodi Mendelowitz first robbed Expressway Wine & Liquor at 154-16 Harding Expressway at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, August 20, 2010, and stated "I have a gun, give me all the cash, I have a gun." She then allegedly opened her black handbag and displayed what appeared to be the top of a silver handgun. The clerk allegedly handed over cash to Mendelowitz, who then fled in a red car.

Mendelowitz allegedly repeated the same exact scenario the following day when she robbed Flushing Wine & Liquor at 59-04 Main Street, at about 8:02 p.m. and Panda Garden, a Chinese restaurant at 147-01 Union Turnpike, just before midnight.

On Sunday, Mendelowitz allegedly entered the Citibank branch at 69-80 188th Street, wearing a blue shirt and a hat, and handed the teller a note which stated "Please press no alert buttons! I have a loaded gun in my bag. Give me all the cash. Make it look like a normal withdrawal and I won't shoot a customer." Investigators said Mendelowitz then allegedly opened her handbag and displayed what appeared to be a silver handgun and stated, "Give me the cash. I have a gun. Take a look." When the teller stood up, Mendelowitz apparently panicked and fled empty-handed.

Fifteen minutes later, Mendelowitz entered JR Discount Liquor at 164-24 69th Avenue wearing the same blue outfit from the earlier robberies and, displaying the gun in her handbag, pointed to the cash register and demanded money. Mendelowitz then fled in a red car, but not before the clerk jotted down the license plate number.

Mendelowitz was arrested Monday at her residence. In executing a court-authorized search warrant at her residence, police allegedly recovered a black handbag, a pair of black sunglasses, a white hat, a blue denim dress and a black and silver toy gun.

Mendelowitz is charged with four counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery. If convicted, she faces up to fifteen years in prison.