NYC home invasion robber busted after calling cops to check on seized Mercedes Benz he stole: feds
A robber who staged a horrific Queens home invasion heist essentially called the police on himself after cops seized the Mercedes-Benz he took from his victims, according to federal authorities.
Robbery suspect Rustambek Zokirov, 24, was dumb enough to hand over his driver’s license to a parking garage attendant, then call the NYPD with a phone registered under his name to find out what happened to the seized luxury car, the feds said in court papers.
Zokirov and an accomplice, Cheng Wei Huang, also 24, were busted by the feds this week and charged with posing as FBI agents during the terrifying July 16 robbery.
According to the feds, the duo targeted a couple living in an apartment on Elder Ave. near Kissena Park in Flushing. The crooks were already riding in a Porsche Cayenne when they pulled into their victims’ apartment complex garage at about 7 a.m.
They approached the couple as they got out of their 2019 Mercedes-Benz GT50, flashed guns and said they were FBI agents who needed to conduct an interview in their victims’ apartment, the feds allege.
Zokirov and Cheng handcuffed the couple and led them up an elevator into their fifth-floor apartment, where they blindfolded them and bound their hands with duct tape. They used a taser on the male victim and forced him into the shower with the water turned on to rattle him.
They subjected the couple to a nearly 14-hour ordeal, stealing credit cards, designer handbags, luxury jewelry, a cellular phone, a SIM card and the keys to the couple’s Benz, the feds allege.
The duo made the couple call their friends to ask for cryptocurrency, and at least one of those friends agreed, sending over $30,000 in crypto, according to the feds.
“The victims were instructed to not indicate they were being robbed or held at gunpoint; however, Zokirov and (Cheng) continually threatened the victims by pointing to their firearms,” federal prosecutors said in a Wednesday court filing.
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Finally, at 9 p.m., the duo loosely cut the couple’s constraints, set a 15-minute timer, and told them not to free themselves until the timer went off, according to the feds. The couple called police at 11 p.m.
The NYPD tracked the stolen Benz to a Manhattan parking garage and seized it July 19, asking the attendants there to call the cops if anyone showed up with the keys.
On July 20, Zokirov tried to retrieve the car, so the parking attendant asked for ID. Zokirov obliged with his New York driver license, the feds said.
That’s when the attendant told him the bad news — the NYPD had seized the car. The worker gave Zokirov a number to call the NYPD for information, and Zokirov used his cell phone to make the call.
That same day, the NYPD released photos and video from the heist to the public, though they made no reference to having already seized the Benz.
Authorities searched Zokirov’s Queens home and arrested him Wednesday, and his mother identified Cheng as his accomplice, according to a federal indictment. The feds arrested Cheng later that day.
Both remain held without bond. Cheng’s lawyer declined comment and Zokirov’s lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.