By Jonathan Sperling
Bodega bandits from the Bronx are in big trouble after they tried to pull off a heist on the other side of the RFK Bridge, prosecutors say.
Two robbers from the Bronx are facing up to 25 years in prison after being charged for their part in holding up an Astoria grocery store at gunpoint last month, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced on Friday.
Hannibal Ali, 55 and Luis Zayas, 25, were part of a four-man robbery team that held up Bonoful Supermarket, located on 36th Avenue and 29th Street on Nov. 17 at around 8:20 p.m.. Some of the robbers — who were spotted wearing masks and phony police shields around their necks — shot at the store owner’s teen brother when he attempted to chase them.
As the robbers burst into the store, one of the suspects walked around the store’s counter and grabbed a bag with cash inside. The same suspect also opened the cash register, took all the money out and dropped it into a black bag, prosecutors said.
The robbers then exited the store and ran to a getaway van allegedly driven by Zayas. When the store owner’s brother, who was in the bodega at the time of the robbery, ran after the vehicle, he heard a loud pop and realized he had been shot in the left leg, prosecutors said.
“A young man quashed down any fear to pursue the gun-toting robbers into the night. For that, he is a hero,” said District Attorney Brown. “The 18-year-old was shot in the leg and will thankfully survive the injury. Two of the four suspects have now been apprehended and will answer for this brazen robbery. This kind of violence and thievery is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Both Ali and Zayas are charged with first- and second-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in two separate complaints. Queens Criminal Court Judge Toni Cimino set bail at $100,000 for Ali and $25,000 bond or $10,000 cash for Zayas. Both men were ordered to return to court on Dec. 12.
Two of the robbers have yet to be apprehended by police. An investigation is still ongoing.