‘Vicious’ group allegedly ambushing high-end NYC diners, violently robbing pricey jewelry
A Manhattan cop opened fire early Monday at suspected members of a high-end-robbery ring casing a Flatiron restaurant — who are possibly tied to last month’s shooting at Philippe Chow, police sources said. The crew tools around in Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs to pull off its heists, which cops believe include at least 12 robberies across Manhattan, Queens and The Bronx — netting more than $4 million in jewelry and watches just since August, sources said. The robbers — who call themselves “OED” for “Own Every Dollar” — are affiliated with the notorious Trinitarios gang in The Bronx and suspected in at least one homicide, sources said. “They are very vicious,” a Manhattan cop said. “After they shot a victim Uptown, they pounced on him and stole his jewelry while he was dying.” That man Jeffrey Sanchez, 35, was one of two victims gunned down during a robbery that occurred outside the Opus Lounge in Inwood on Sept. 20. The ring’s latest crime unfolded around 1:15 a.m. outside the trendy Pergola eatery and hookah bar in the Flatiron District when officers recognized a BMW parked nearby that matched the description of a car tied to a series of lucrative jewelry heists outside upscale hotspots, sources said. The cops moved in after a check showed a plate on the Beemer didn’t match the vehicle, sources said. When the cops tried to stop the vehicle on West 28th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, the driver gunned the engine and jumped a curb, almost plowing down several pedestrians, sources said. An officer finally stopped the car by firing three shots through its windshield, leading the driver and two passengers to bail out and start running, sources said. One of the suspects — Wilson Mendez, 19, of The Bronx — was nabbed after a short chase and taken to a hospital for treatment of cuts to his face, sources said. Charges against him were pending, sources said.