Crime and Safety

NYC gang member Atiba Johnson arrested for armed robbery, police say

Police and police sources said the 18-year-old gang member, who made four gun-related arrests as a minor, was arrested again this week in connection with a robbery of an East Village mobile phone store.

G-Stone Crips’ Atiba Johnson was one of four suspects detained Wednesday in connection with Wednesday’s robbery at a Metro PCS store on First Avenue near East 14th Street, authorities and sources said.

The gang entered the store around 4:30 p.m. when one of them brandished a gun and grabbed three phones and an unspecified amount of cash, police said.

The suspects then jumped into a white Honda Civic and fled, driving about three miles to a location on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, authorities said.

According to the police, the police were able to find them there because the store has the ability to track stolen phones.

In addition to Johnson, four other suspects were arrested in connection with the phone robbery, including two 14-year-old boys, a 17-year-old boy and 20-year-old Sean Francis, police and sources said.

Atiba Johnson, 18, (pictured) was arrested in connection with an armed robbery at an East Village subway station.
Atiba Johnson was arrested in connection with an armed robbery at an East Village subway station.

A fifth suspect is still on the run, police said Friday morning.

Records show that Johnson was arraigned on robbery and weapons charges – and ordered to be held on $50,000 bail.

His previous arrest with a firearm as a teenager was on October 25, 2021 in Brooklyn, police said.

He was 16 at the time of this bust.

Records show he was held on $50,000 bail. It was not immediately clear how and why he was released.

Judging by the documents, his next court hearing in this case is scheduled for January 18.

Prior to this arrest, he received three arrests for possession of a loaded weapon, according to police sources.

Johnson’s latest arrest came just a day before the NYPD said on Thursday that out-of-control teenagers were committing an increasing proportion of robberies at the Big Apple.

During a briefing on last year’s CompStat data, Michael Lipetri, head of crime control, said that 20% of robbery arrests in the fourth quarter were made by “persons under the age of 18,” compared with 17% for the full year.

“Under 18 years old, robbing New Yorkers. There are statistics,” he said regretfully.

Worse still, Lipetri said, “Trends continue, unfortunately, 10% of all shooting victims — 10% of all New York City shooting victims — are under 18 years old.

A Metro PCS store was the target of a robbery on First Avenue near East 14th Street.
Johnson and four others allegedly robbed a subway PCS on First Avenue near East 14th Street.
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“All other age categories go down when you track them between 10 and 17, 18 and 24 and so on,” he added during a presentation at NYPD headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

A Manhattan cop blamed the state’s Raising Age Act, approved by the then governor. Andrew Cuomo in 2017, who changed the age at which someone can be prosecuted as an adult from 16 to 18 for holding Johnson and other arrested teenagers on the street.

“Raising the age allows young criminals like Mr. Johnson to walk the streets with weapons ready without fear of going to jail,” a source told The Post. “Such criminals endanger innocent citizens.”

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