49° Good Morning
49° Good Morning
Long IslandNassau

Felquin Piedra charged in T-Mobile robbery, carjack try, FBI says

Nassau County police investigate the robbery at about

Nassau County police investigate the robbery at about 6:20 p.m. March 4, 2015, of a T-Mobile store at 1073 Northern Blvd. in Flower Hill. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The gunman accused of robbing a Nassau T-Mobile store earlier this month was tracked down the same night on the LIE through a GPS tracker in a stolen item, then he jumped off an overpass and was shot by police during an attempted carjacking, according to an FBI complaint charging him with the crimes.

Felquin Piedra, 41, of Queens, was arraigned last week from his bed at North Shore University Hospital hospital on charges of robbery, using a firearm in a robbery and attempted carjacking in the March 4 holdup at the Flower Hill T-Mobile and carjack attempt in Lake Success, authorities said.

He was shot twice in the leg and once in the torso by a Lake Success police officer after he jumped into the passenger seat of a Ford van on Lakeville Road and fought with the driver for control, authorities said. Piedra swung his leg over the center console, then "forcibly pressed down on the driver's foot" to try to accelerate the car, court papers said.

Piedra's federal defender could not be reached for comment at the time.

Piedra and an accomplice, both dressed in black, their faces covered, held up the store about 6:20 p.m., authorities said. The FBI complaint does not say what happened to the second man. The FBI and U.S. attorney's office for the area covering Long Island declined to comment.

One robber, brandishing a gun, forced store employees to go to the back then bound them with plastic locking ties, while the second robber carried two suitcases into a backroom, the FBI said. Cellphones and cash were stuffed into the suitcases, and after one man left by the emergency door, two witnesses outside saw him get into an Acura that had its engine running, the complaint said.

One phone had a GPS tracker that automatically emitted an alert as soon as it left the store and continually sent its location to law enforcement, the FBI said in court papers.

Nassau County police shut the westbound Long Island Expressway lanes by Lake Success, and when officers found the Acura, Piedra ran out of the driver's seat, then jumped from the overpass onto Lakeville Road, authorities said. He ran through private property, and two Lake Success police officers found his tracks in the snow, village Police Chief Joseph Gardella said last week.

The foot chase ended back on Lakeville Road, where Officer Richard Petrillo drove up to join the two officers and saw the attempted carjacking, Gardella said. Petrillo fired three shots, the chief said.

Armed with a search warrant for the Acura, the FBI complaint said, authorities found two black suitcases and cellphones and other merchandise.

For days, Piedra was unconscious, Nassau police said, and unable to be arraigned.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment on details of the case Wednesday but has said the agency got involved to determine if the robbery suspect was connected to one of its ongoing investigations.

Court records show Piedra was arrested in New York City in April 2013 on felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with stolen property. He pleaded guilty in November 2013 to criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.Details on his sentence were not immediately available.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.