Talk about a crafty criminal.
Gregory Price, 59, was arrested April 16 on robbery charges after New York City police say they caught him trying to hold up a bubble tea shop in Brooklyn.
Price was armed with what appeared to be a handgun when two police officers walked into Vivi Bubble Tea around noon, police said. The suspect, wearing a mask over his face, ordered a 28-year-old woman working there to fill an empty knapsack he was holding with money.
That’s when police confronted Price, they said, and noticed the black object in his right hand. After telling him to drop the weapon repeatedly, he refused and fled to the back of the store. But there was no where for him to go but into the bathroom.
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"He said 'F you!' pointed what looked to be a firearm, ran to the back and locked himself into the bathroom," Officer Wendell Garcia, who responded to the scene, told the New York Post. "We told him to drop it and he said, 'I don't give a F.'"
Then cops broke into the bathroom and arrested Price "without further incident," police said.
It turned out Price didn’t have a gun at all: The black object he’d been holding was a glue gun that had been wrapped in black tape, police said. Police also seized a black mask and a backpack inside the bathroom.
"I pulled it out of the toilet," Garcia told the Post, referring to the ski mask. "He tried to throw it away."
The suspect had been wanted in a spate of robberies in the area, police said. Moments before the bubble tea shop confrontation, police had gotten a call reporting that the suspect was nearby, so a sergeant and three police officers had started canvassing the area on foot.
The officers soon spotted Price on the corner of Pacific and Court Streets in downtown Brooklyn, police said. Then the officers tailed Price as he walked about two blocks to the bubble tea shop, where he pulled a mask over his head and walked in, according to police.
Price also faces charges for criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, tampering with physical evidence and resisting arrest, police said. Price is a resident of Brooklyn.
Police told the New York Daily News that Price is a career criminal who had been taking aim at shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan recently.
"He's been targeting women at closing times, when they're all alone," Officer Thomas Ruggiero told the newspaper.
Police had passed out photos of the suspect around the neighborhood, which is why members of the community had been looking out for him.
"It's actually very good," Ruggiero told the Daily News. "The community is at peace. We're at peace because we actually caught him. It's happy ending. Nobody got hurt."