A Brooklyn man robbed a van driver in Valley Stream and stole the vehicle Wednesday, but was caught after the victim got a ride from a passing motorist and followed the stolen van, Nassau County police said.
The van was dropping off passengers at the Green Acres Mall shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday when Jeremy Singleton, a passenger, said he wanted to remain in the van and return to Queens, police said.
While the driver was turning the van around, Singleton, 30, of Pacific Street, pulled a gun and demanded money, police said. The driver complied, pulled the van over and got out, police said.
After Singleton drove off in the van, the victim flagged down a passing car and got that driver to follow the van while the victim called police.
The stolen van was parked at 650 W. Sunrise Hwy. in Freeport and Singleton fled on foot, but officers from the Fifth Precinct found him in the area and arrested him, police said.
The gun and the money from the robbery were recovered, police said.
Singleton was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail or $500,000 bond at his arraignment Thursday on felony robbery and weapons charges in First District Court in Hempstead.
He is due back in court on Monday.