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The suspects posed as police officers in uniform and robbed seven taxi drivers between Sept. 8 and 25, police said
All of the victims were driving in the New York City metro area
Among the stolen items were 15 portable radios, 9 hand-held microphones, and 4 laptops.
Police are on the hunt for two men who they say posed as law enforcement officials in a string of taxi driver robberies. A third suspect is already in the case.
Driving in a white cargo van, the suspects posed as police officers in uniform and robbed seven taxi drivers between Sept. 8 and 25, police said.
The victims were asked to pull over and exit their cars before they were subsequently searched and had their personal belongings stolen from them. Three drivers were sprayed with an unknown substance before the suspects fled the scene. A 33-year-old victim was robbed of $300.
Authorities said the Intelligence Bureau's Leads Investigation Unit had been investigating unauthorized transmissions over police radio frequencies since April when they identified Ricardo Torres as a person of interest.
Torres, an amateur radio enthusiast, provided the other suspects with two-way radios, authorities allege. He was taken into custody Sept. 25 after he was found to be in possession of two radios and a burglar tool, officials say.
Officers searched his home, where they found a plethora of police paraphernalia including portable radios, scanners, cellphones, laptops, and desktop computers, police said.
Torres is being held on a host of charges including two counts of robbery and criminal impersonation. Two other men, Jay Peralta and Kevin Remache, are wanted for criminal impersonation and robbery.
Following the investigation, authorities discovered that Peralta and Remache allegedly lit a black Chevrolet SUV on fire shortly before 3 a.m. on Aug. 8. Both men were charged with arson and reckless endangerment.