Two ex-convicts have been arrested in connection with a string of robberies in Nassau County and New York City, including an incident last week in which a 20-year-old woman was pistol-whipped and her mother shot near Kennedy Airport, officials said Thursday.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said forensic examination of two stolen cars — a Mercedes-Benz and a Volkswagen Jetta — led investigators to arrest John Howard and Donald Warren on Wednesday.
He didn’t release further information on the men, but state prison records indicate Warren, 54, has served time for robbery. The Jetta was found in the Paerdegat Basin area of Brooklyn.
Howard and Warren are believed to have carried out four robberies in Nassau County and five in New York City in recent weeks, Boyce said.
“These are very bad individuals, on lifetime parole,” he said. “We are going forward with the case, working with Nassau County.”
Specific information about the robberies wasn’t immediately available.
A Nassau Police Department spokesman declined to comment Thursday, citing the ongoing investigation. A law enforcement source said the Nassau robberies occurred in recent weeks in the Valley Stream area.
Another law enforcement source said the NYPD may seek to have federal prosecutors take the case.
In the attack on Jan. 21, a 20-year-old woman was sitting in a car at a hotel parking lot in South Ozone Park and robbed of her jewelry. The woman’s mother was shot when she tried to intervene during the holdup, which took place at the Hampton Inn on 135th Avenue, just north of Kennedy, police said.
Howard and Warren have not been charged in the shooting of the woman, who is recovering, but Boyce said detectives were still developing the case.
A third man linked to the robberies has been identified from fingerprint evidence, but police are not ready to release his name until he has been apprehended.
Warren was awaiting arraignment late Thursday in Queens criminal court, according to a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. The spokeswoman declined to specify what charges Warren faces until he was arraigned.
State prison records show that Warren was convicted in 1996 in Brooklyn on first- and second-degree robbery charges and received a prison sentence of 10 years to life. Warren was placed on parole in May 2013.
Howard’s arraignment status couldn’t be ascertained late Thursday.