By MICHAEL BALSAMO
NEW YORK (AP) — A man who police say killed a pawn shop owner and raped a teenage girl during a “one-man crime spree” in North Carolina has been arrested in New York City after officers found him with the two loaded guns in a stolen car they tracked across two boroughs, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday.
Kendrick Gregory, 21, was arrested Tuesday after a woman reported her car was stolen in Lower Manhattan, police said. He was arrested on weapons possession and grand larceny charges in New York.
Police in North Carolina said Gregory was wanted on charges of murder, rape, two robberies and an assault with intent to kill. It was not immediately clear whether Gregory had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Carlos Gomez, chief of patrol for the New York Police Department, said Gregory’s crime spree began Sunday in Raleigh when he allegedly carjacked two people at gunpoint. The next day, police said, Gregory shot and wounded a man during a robbery before killing 64-year-old Thomas Melvin Durant during a robbery at his pawn shop. Investigators believe Gregory also raped a 15-year-old girl at gunpoint shortly after the slaying.
Detectives suspect Gregory then made his way to New York in a stolen car.
Tuesday afternoon, a woman called 911 to report her car had been stolen and told officers who responded that it was equipped with GPS but she couldn’t track it because her cellphone was still in the vehicle, police said.
An officer downloaded the tracking app on his iPhone and police tracked the car to the Brooklyn Bridge then arrested Gregory behind the wheel in Brooklyn.
Bratton said the police work was particularly commendable because the suspect was accused of committing “extraordinarily serious, violent crimes” in such a short period of time.
“God knows what he would’ve done here in New York,” Bratton said. “He was an individual totally out of control. Their quick action and response to that woman’s call really may have saved us from a very significant set of problems.”
Gomez said the officers found two .45-caliber handguns in Gregory’s possession, one in his pocket and another beneath the driver’s seat. Police believe one of the weapons had been taken from the pawn shop owner after he was killed.
“He was a one-man crime spree,” Gomez said.
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