Shots fired during traffic stop amid investigation into high-end robbery pattern in NYC

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, October 11, 2021
Police crack high-end armed robbery ring after NYC traffic stop
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In a pair of armed robberies, police say two suspects, believed to be the individuals in the vehicle, stole more than $4 million in jewelry from their victims.

FLATIRON DISTRICT, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police opened fire on two robbery suspects in the Flatiron District of Manhattan early Monday morning.

Detectives believe the suspects were loitering in their BMW outside the high end Pergola restaurant at 36 West 28th Street, waiting for potential victims.

The officers attempted to pull over the vehicle at around 1:20 a.m. Monday.

When they tried to initiate a traffic stop, the occupants did not comply, driving off and jumping the curb on 28th Street towards Fifth Avenue, nearly missing pedestrians.

Police fired shots at the vehicle's front windshield, apparently to get the driver to stop. No one was struck.

The BMW was found on the sidewalk at West 28th Street and Fifth Avenue. It appears the vehicle knocked over a street sign.

Two suspects fled from the car. Wilson Mendez, 19, was caught and treated for a minor cut to his head. Charges are pending. Another person is being sought.

A gun was found in the BMW.

Officers involved in the incident were taken to the hospital for tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

Investigators now believe the men are responsible for at least two armed robberies. In both incidents, the victims were likely followed by the suspects from high-end restaurants and clubs.

The first happened outside TAO Downtown in August-where two men were robbed of jewelry and watches worth an estimated $4 million.

Five days later, the same suspects are believed to be responsible for a robbery outside Pergola, stealing necklaces, watches and bracelets worth $100,000.

Neighbors said it's unnerving.

"I think that's disgusting, man," Flatiron resident Luis Soto said. "The way the city is, with the crime. I don't like it, makes me sad. It makes me like, want to cry."

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