Two Sprint employees were robbed at gunpoint Saturday by a pair of armed men who later rammed a police car and took officers on a high-speed chase before being caught after bailing out of their vehicle and running in Yonkers, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Sean Austin, 44 of New York City, and Braulio Moncion, 41, of the Bronx, entered the Customer Center, (doing business as Sprint), at 622 Yonkers Ave., around 5:45 p.m., with Austin carrying a silver firearm, said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Joon H. Kim.
Austin showed the firearm to the two store employees, racked the slide, and instructed them not to move. After taking the employees to the bathroom, they took cell phones, cash, and car keys from the employees.
They then ordered the employees to stay in the bathroom while they stole numerous cell phones from the store, the DA's office said.
After a few minutes, the employees heard the back door slam and went out front to call the police. Both men were caught on the store's video surveillance cameras, Kim said.
Following the robbery, Austin and Moncion fled in a Nissan, one of the employee’s vehicles, which had been parked outside the store.
Yonkers police tracked them to the intersection of Central Park Avenue South and Clarke Street where a sergeant angled his vehicle in an attempt to stop the car. Instead of stopping, the driver accelerated and rammed into the police cruiser before taking off on the Thruway at a high rate of speed, the FBI said in a statement.
Officers pursued the duo into the Bronx where they threw a weapon out of the vehicle and then pulled over, exited the car and jumped over a wall to an area several feet below the highway, officials said.
The men kept running with police in pursuit, throwing off clothes and items in their pockets as they ran into a construction area where they apprehended by officers of the Yonkers Police Department, the FBI added.
Numerous stolen cellphones were recovered from the vehicle they had used to flee the scene. In addition, law enforcement recovered a firearm and ammunition magazine that the defendants had discarded during the pursuit, Kim said.
Both were charged with one count of Hobbs Act robbery, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
They are being held at the Westchester County Jail.
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