Police capture suspected armed carjacker after wild, morning-long crime spree

Posted at 6:59 PM, May 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-09 19:09:17-04

NYPD officers have made an arrest after a massive manhunt for a 27-year-old construction worker who cops said car jacked three vehicles before fleeing in a stolen car, according to a police source.

The spree started around 9am in Long Island City on Borden Avenue.

Police say Nick Almonte, of Borden Avenue, held up a woman in a black Mercedes at 21-27 Borden.  He held her at gunpoint, according to investigators, and got behind the wheel.  Police say Almonte drove around with the victim in the car for a few minutes before she escaped.  He ditched the vehicles in the area of Queens Plaza by Thompson Avenue and Vandam Street, then attempted to take a 2006 Ford Econoline but was unsuccessful.

Twenty minutes later, police were notified of a car robbery in process nearby.  At that point, the victim told cops a male, later identified at Almonte, pulled out a gun and demanded he give up his gray Lexus.  The vehicle was recovered a short time later at 38th Street and Hunters Point Avenue, where police say Almonte got into an accident and fled.

At that time, police say he walked down the block and approached a woman who was walking her dog.  She told police a man demanded her keys and cash, when she told him she didn’t drive, he fled and approached a truck driver and stole an undisclosed amount of money.

“I was scared, I was really scared,” said the female victim who was being escorted to the 108th police precinct when PIX 11 tracked her down.

Police say 10 minutes later, Almonte approached a man on 39th Street and Greenpoint Avenue, while he was getting into his 1996 Gold Mercedes.

“He said the guy came up to him pointed a gun at him and said give me your car and your money”, said Steve Massis, who’s friend got held up.  He said his friend, Sarmen, was having coffee before he went to his car to head home.

“He is just happy he didn’t get hurt,” said Massis.

Police believe Almonte is still at large and could be armed and dangerous.  Police in Queens and across New York are searching for him.

None of the victims were injured.