NYPD: Ex-cons face federal charges after robbery spree, chase
A pair of ex-cons face federal charges after allegedly carrying out a nearly two-hour armed robbery spree across New York City early Tuesday before a dramatic NYPD chase ended with both in custody, officials said.
The suspects, identified by police as Manhattan residents Carlos Perez, 24, and Alvin Velez, 33, were taken into custody early Tuesday after allegedly committing multiple holdups across three boroughs between 1 and about 3:50 a.m., according to the NYPD.
Police arrested and charged both following a high-speed pursuit over the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge into Manhattan, where they crashed a stolen Toyota minivan, said NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig on Wednesday.
NYPD aviation units followed the van and captured the chase and crash on video. The two suspects allegedly committed robberies in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, according to police.
Perez and Velez were being held without bail as federal officials prepared charges under the Hobbs Act. Essig said the Hobbs Act is being used because two of the armed robberies involved food vendor trucks, which qualify as commercial establishments under federal law.
Unlike provisions of state bail reform, federal magistrates and judges have the ability to detain suspects without bail on the grounds of dangerousness or concerns over public safety.
Essig said that both Perez and Velez have criminal records with multiple arrests, and are on parole. Velez had served eight years in prison for attempted murder and was released on parole until September 2025, Essig said.
The minivan allegedly used by the suspects had license plates stolen from another vehicle, according to Essig. Police from multiple NYPD commands took part in the early morning pursuit. One suspect was taken into custody immediately after the vehicle crashed while the other was arrested hiding in a nearby building, said Chief of Patrol John Chell.