New York City cops tracked a man wanted in North Carolina for a violent string of murder, robbery and rape crimes when he stole a running car from a street downtown and was located through a GPS phone app, authorities say.
Kendrick Keyanti Gregory, 21, was arrested Tuesday when NYPD officers caught him driving in a car that had been reported stolen from a Tribeca parking lot. The NYPD says officers were called to the area of Warren Street and Broadway, where a 55-year-old woman reported that someone drove away with her 2014 Honda Pilot after she left it running with the keys in the ignition. She told police she had a GPS tracker installed in the car and the car could be located using a cellphone app.
One of the officers downloaded the app on his phone, had the woman log into her account, and tracked the car traveling over the Brooklyn Bridge, police said. Cops responded to the Smith Street between Pacific and Dean streets in Brooklyn, pulled over Gregory in the stolen Honda Pilot, and took him into custody.
Police found a handgun in Gregory's pocket and another one beneath the driver's seat. He was taken to the 1st Precinct stationhouse, where investigators learned he was wanted in the North Carolina violent crime spree.
The crime spree there began Monday morning when he shot and robbed 27-year-old Lenin Alvaringa in Raleigh. Later that night, he allegedly shot and killed 64-year-old Thomas Melvin Duran in a robbery, according to police. Shortly afterwards, police say Gregory raped a 15-year-old girl.
Gregory is charged with rape, murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury, and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the North Carolina crimes. He's charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of a weapon in the New York City incidents.
It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the police work was particularly commendable because the suspect was accused of committing "extraordinarily serious, violent crimes'' in such a short period of time.
"God knows what he would've done here in New York,'' Bratton said. "He was an individual totally out of control. Their quick action and response to that woman's call really may have saved us from a very significant set of problems.''
Carlos Gomez, chief of patrol for the NYPD, said the officers found two .45-caliber handguns in Gregory's possession, one in his pocket and another beneath the driver's seat. Police believe one of the weapons had been taken from the pawn shop owner after he was killed.
"He was a one-man crime spree,'' Gomez said.