A Brooklyn man was arrested in Florida several days after his alleged involvement in a nearly $200,000 heist in a Manhattan Chanel store.
Eric Spencer, 29, was charged with one count of robbery and is currently being held in Florida and is set to appear before a judge in Miami. He will be extradited to New York at some point after his arraignment, officials say.
“As alleged, Eric Spencer put the public and store personnel in grave danger when he committed a brazen daylight armed robbery of a SoHo boutique earlier this month,” said US Attorney Audrey Strauss. “Spencer allegedly threatened a store security guard by displaying the handle of his gun as he barked orders to his co-conspirators to ‘grab everything.’ Now the FBI and NYPD have grabbed Spencer, who is in federal custody and awaiting his day in court.”
Officials say Spencer entered the SoHo Chanel store on Feb. 2 with three co-conspirators, at which time the four allegedly began to pull handbags and other items off the wall. When confronted by a security guard, Spencer allegedly said, “What are you going to do? Shoot me?” and reached into his waistband, where authorities say the guard spotted the handle of a firearm.
Spencer then allegedly yelled, “Nobody touch me! Get everything! Grab everything!”
Officials say Spencer and the three other thieves then took off with handbags and other merchandise valued at $189,500. After the heist, feds allege Spencer bragged on social media about having so many items from the store that he could “OPEN A SMALL BOUTIQUE.”
The FBI-NYPD Joint Major Theft Task Force traced Spencer to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was arrested on Feb. 20 at 6 pm. His three co-conspirators remain at large.
If convicted, Spencer faces up to 20 years in prison.
“Spencer’s arrest highlights the importance of good investigative work and the continuing efforts of the FBI-NYPD Joint Major Theft Task Force,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. “I commend our partners in the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York for their commitment to bringing justice for the victims in this despicable crime.”
FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney Jr. offered some words of warning for would-be criminals.
“For others who plan to behave in the same manner, listen up – the FBI is committed to using every tool at our disposal to hold violent criminals accountable for their decisions, and our partnership with the NYPD is airtight,” he said. “When you break federal law, expect to spend some time in one of our courtrooms. As always, thank you to the NYPD detectives for their outstanding work in this investigation, their constant efforts are essential to keeping our citizens safe.”
This story first appeared on AMNY.com.