2018-10-10 / Front Page

Cops Eye Drug Suspect In Local Bank Heists

By Liz Goff
A 39-year-old Maspeth man remains behind bars this week following his arrest on drug charges, while investigators probe his possible connection to a recent string of Queens bank robberies, police said.

Cops said officers on patrol out of the 104th Precinct on the afternoon of October 1st took off in pursuit of a blue BMW that was speeding along streets in Maspeth. When the officers ordered the driver to pull over, he raced off in the wrong direction until he crashed the BMW into another car outside his home at 71-59 58th Road, police said.

Investigators uncovered a quantity of cocaine in the driver’s side of the vehicle and discovered that the driver, Justin Gass, was wanted for questioning by the NYPD in connection with bank robberies in Astoria, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Jackson Heights dating back to August 17th.

Gass, 39, was arraigned on the drug charges and remanded to Rikers Island while investigators probe his alleged participation in the bank heists, authorities said.

Police had previously identified Gass as the suspect who kicked off a one-man bank robbery spree on August 17th, when he made off with $800 from a Valley National Bank branch on Grand Avenue in Maspeth.

Police allege Gass struck again at about 11 a.m. on September 8th, when he handed a note demanding cash to a teller at an Alma Bank branch at 41-02 Broadway in Astoria. The teller complied and Gass allegedly with $3,000 cash, police said.

Cops said Gass struck a third time at about 2:10 p.m. on September 14th, when he made off with an undetermined amount of cash during a robbery at a Chase Bank branch at 47-01 Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside.

Gass struck again at about 11:10 a.m. on September 25th, when he entered a Chase Bank branch at 37-15 82nd Street in Jackson Heights and fled with an undetermined amount of cash, police said.

Police are also trying to determine if Gass is the man who made off with an undetermined amount of cash during a robbery at a CapitalOne branch at 31-17 Broadway in Astoria just after noon on October 1st.

The NYPD is urging anyone with information on Gass to cal the CrimeStoppers HOTLINE at 1-800-577-TIPS or click on  www.nypdcrimesoppers.com.


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