Police thwarted a career criminal who was in the midst of robbing a Brooklyn tea shop wielding a glue gun that resembled a real firearm– arresting the jerk without incident less than two weeks after cops killed a deranged man holding a pistol-like object elsewhere in the borough.
Gregory Price, 59, of Brownsville was arrested without further incident at Vivi Bubble Tea on Court Street between State and Schermerhorn streets just after noon on Monday.
Police got wind of Price’s whereabouts after a member of the community alerted a Neighborhood Community Policing Officer for the 84th Precinct and reported that a man sought for a series of thefts was nearby in the vicinity of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street at around 12:10 p.m., cops said.
That officer, who was off-duty at the time, immediately notified the 84th Precinct’s Anti-Crime team consisting of a sergeant and three police officers.
The team of plainclothes cops responded to the scene on foot and started tracking the suspect.
They tailed Price to the bubble tea shop where they saw him pull a ski mask over his face and enter the store, authorities said.
Once Price was inside the shop, the cops observed him walk up to a 28-year-old female employee and pass her a knapsack.
As the woman started filling up the bag with money, two officers from the team entered the shop and confronted Price who they then noticed was holding a black object in his right hand that resembled a handgun, police said.
The officers repeatedly ordered Price to drop the object, but he refused and bolted to the back of the store and into a bathroom, authorities said.
The cops then followed him into the bathroom and took him into custody. The officers never discharged their weapons during the incident.
From the bathroom, the officers recovered a glue gun wrapped in black tape, a black mask, and a backpack, police said.
Price was arrested on charges of robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, tampering with physical evidence and resisting arrest in connection to the heist.
The suspect, who has five prior arrests on his record dating back to 1983 mostly for robbery charges, had been wanted in a three other robberies in Brooklyn and Manhattan this year.
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Cops are eyeing Price as the suspect in the theft of a Harlem 7-Eleven on Feb. 18, the robbery of a female motorist on Brooklyn’s Smith Street on Mar. 11, and the stick-up of a Ricky’s store in Kips Bay on Mar. 14.
In each instance, police say the suspect displayed a firearm.
Price was released from state prison on parole on Jan. 18 after being sentenced to 10-years-to-life in Dec. 1993 for robbery in the first-degree, records show.
He previously served two other prison sentences for robbery and attempted robbery charges.
Cops on April 6 fatally shot 34-year-old Saheed Vassell on a Crown Heights street corner after he pointed what turned out to be the head of a welding torch at them.