Written by Carol Frank Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
The Lake Success Police Department played a vital role in the chase and capture of the robbers fleeing from the London Jewelry heist last Friday. According to Police Chief William Lang, Sgt. T. J. Fernadez was listening in on a radio that links the local police department to Nassau County and New York City. He heard about the robbery and that the getaway car was headed south on Community Drive. He instructed officers from Lake Success who were heading north on Lakeville Road to turn around and block the entrance from the service road onto the Long Island Expressway.
According to police, when the alleged robbers saw the roadblock, they crashed the Escalade into a guardrail and ran toward the Lake Success golf course. Lake Success officers, Tom Walter and Jon Cancel were in hot pursuit. They called for back-up from New York City police as one of the suspects was headed for the city line.
Chief Lang told the Great Neck Record: “We are extremely proud of all of the officers in our force whose quick thinking and coordination and cooperation with others involved in the chase ended in the apprehension of four suspects.”
Village of Lake Success Mayor Ron Cooper said: “Our police department performed admirably. We are proud of the way they handled this incident, coordinated activities with Nassau County and New York City police departments and that they physically caught two of the suspects. It was a great display of the capabilities and professionalism of the department.”
During the fast moving events, Police Chief William Lang immediately instructed a dispatcher to call Great Neck School District Superintendent Tom Dolan to activate a lock-down of the South campus.
According to Dr. Dolan, the schools have regular drills for lock-downs and the procedure went smoothly. He said, “We hope we never have to use this procedure, but we are prepared to totally close buildings allowing no one in or out.” The gate to the campus was closed as well. School buses and school district vehicles were allowed in, but only after having been inspected to make sure no unauthorized persons were on board.
The lock-down occurred around 2:20 p.m. and was lifted at 3:05 p.m. after four suspects were captured.
Dr. Dolan said: “It was at a time of day when high school students were to be dismissed. The delay also affected pick-ups of elementary children, but we were able to use our parent-link system to communicate with those parents to let them know the children would be home later...we had a few parents who didn’t receive the information, but most did.”
He added: “We want to compliment the Lake Success Police Department for their actions...We appreciate how timely and how good their communications are with us.”
The official police report from Nassau County police stated that “four Brooklyn men were arrested for the robbery which took place at 1:51 p.m. According to detectives, defendants Leroy Nelson, 27; Javon Gamble, 31; Reggie Fowler, 23; and an unknown black male subject entered London Jewelers at 2046 Northern Boulevard wearing blue jumpsuits, black bandanas over their faces and gloves announcing a robbery. Police said that two subjects displayed handguns while a third subject used a hammer to smash the glass of several display cases. Also, police stated that the fourth subject then removed numerous Rolex and Breitling watches. All the defendants then fled on foot across the parking lot onto Northern Boulevard where a black Cadillac Escalade being operated by Samuel Cephas 30, was waiting, according to police.
The vehicle and defendants then fled eastbound on Northern Boulevard pursued by Sixth Precinct police officers and onto the westbound Long Island Expressway. According to police, due to heavy traffic conditions the defendants all fled from the vehicle. After an extensive search utilizing Sixth Precinct, Second Precinct, Bureau of Special Operations, Canine, Mounted Unit, Lake Success and NYPD officers the defendants were located and arrested without incident in the vicinity of the Lake Success Country Club. Police say that a handgun believed to have been used during the robbery was recovered. The fifth subject was not apprehended. At the time of the robbery 13 employees and one customer were present with no injuries were reported.”
Detectives request anyone with information regarding this crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.