A 37-year-old Manhattan man has been on federal charges for allegedly robbing at least seven people working at food stands or restaurants on the Upper West Side at gunpoint in a two-and-a-half-week span, authorities confirmed Monday.
Ryan Little was arrested Thursday on charges including Hobbs Act robbery, a 1946 law that makes it a federal crime to commit robbery in a manner that affects interstate commerce, and weapons-related offenses, including being in possession of a gun as a convicted felon, a New York's Southern District spokesperson said.
The first robbery in the pattern dates back to April 3, when cops allege Little flashed a gun and stole $500 and a $200 cellphone from a man operating a Broadway coffee cart. The accused armed robber allegedly laid low for the next 13 days before committing the other six robberies over the next five days, cops say.
On April 16, Little allegedly walked up to a Tacos and Quesadillas truck on Broadway, ordered food, then showed the gun and stole $500 and a phone from a 19-year=old woman. In that case, cops say Little told the woman he'd be back in five minutes and would kill her if she left the truck. That was the only death threat.
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But the next day, Little allegedly struck again, hitting a restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue. Cops allege he walked in, asked if they were open, flashed the gun and stole money from the register as well as the tip jar.
Less than four hours later, Little allegedly robbed a fruit stand at the southeast corner of Broadway and West 86th Street. Cops say he asked for change for a $10 and pulled out the gun when the victim pulled out the money. Little allegedly jacked about $150 and started to walk away, then went back for the man's $850 phone.
Officials allege Little committed two armed robberies the next day, April 19, one involving a Mexican food cart on Amsterdam Avenue and the other a mobile food cart on Broadway at 70th Street. He is accused of targeting one more restaurant -- Jimbo's Hamburgers on Amsterdam Avenue -- on April 20. In that case, someone chased Little out after he flashed the gun and grabbed $1,500 from the register, cops allege, and police were able to catch up with him in St. Nicholas Park.
Little was arrested on the federal charges the following day.
Altogether, the 37-year-old allegedly stole nearly $3,000 in cash and multiple cellphones, some of them worth significant amounts of money. No injuries were reported.
Little remains detained pending his next court appearance. His attorney on record didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.