NHI Readers Help Solve Another Robbery

Independent readers recognized a man they saw in a video—and called the cops.

The readers were watching a video of a hold-up at a Shell station convenience store on Willow Street. The polite, bearded 57-year-old man shown carrying out the heist (he first held open a door for customers to leave) didn’t bother wearing a mask or otherwise concealing his identity. His face was in full view of a surveillance camera. The man’s relatives saw the video in the Independent and convinced him to turn himself in to police, to whom he confessed.

A day later detectives received a call from a victim of a street robbery that occurred on George and Howe streets a week after that Shell heist. A man had stopped two people on the street and “implied” he had a gun, then robbed them, according to Sgt. Robert Lawlor Jr., head of the police department’s robbery and burglary unit.

“I just saw the video in the Independent. That’s the guy who robbed us,” the caller told detectives, according to Lawlor. Both victims identified the 57-year-old man in the video as their assailant. Police have subsequently charged the man with that hold-up as well, according to Lawlor. Lawlor said the man told police he has struggled with a cocaine addiction for some 20 years.

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posted by: Bill Saunders on May 28, 2013  2:45pm

Everyone gets a thumbs up on this one except the criminal.

First time in my history on George Street of ever hearing a mugger actually being caught.  Glad we could be a part of it…...

posted by: Bill Saunders on May 28, 2013  5:50pm

Though this is a great outcome, as it turns out, this is also a case of ‘desire’ for ‘positive press’  out-trumping police procedure.

As it turns out, only one of the victims contacted police.  When she asked what the attending officer what the next step was, she was told that a detective would be in touch to take an official statement.

That hasn’t happened yet.

I showed the second victim the video only today.  He was in NYC for the long weekend and had no knowledge of anything beyond that fated night.  While he certainly identified the guy, he had not contacted the police.

I think the Police need to have all of there ducks in a row before making a release to the press of this nature. 

This little bit of spin is BS, and speaks volumes:

If these minor abuses of power occur when a good outcome is at hand, imagine the concerted ‘public relations’ effort employed when the police are truly culpable.