YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A suspect’s distinguishing feature — blindness — led Teaneck police to four people, one of them an 21-year-old ex-con, who they arrested in connection with a street robbery Tuesday night.
Two men told police they were waiting for a girl at the corner of Linden Avenue and Kipp Street around 8 p.m. Tuesday when a pair of bandits wearing masks over the bottoms of their faces approached them.
One “pulled up his shirt, displaying a handgun, and threatened to shoot the two victims if they moved,” Police Chief Robert Wilson said this afternoon.
The pair grabbed their cellphones and all the cash they were carrying, then took off on foot, they told police.
The victims noticed that one of the robbers appeared blind, leading detectives directly to 25-year-old Michael Harper (top, right).
Harper lives with two women who were also charged in connection with the holdup, Wilson said.
Police yesterday morning spotted the trio leaving their American Legion Drive home in a white Ford Freestar minivan with a second man, Andre Ziemoore.
They followed as the four drove a short distance before stopping by the Stop & Shop supermarket. There, Wilson said, Ziemoore got out and “retrieved a plastic bag that was buried under some snow by a tree.”
Police stopped the minivan moments later on Palisade Avenue in Teaneck and got consent to search it from the driver — 22-year-old Ayesha Mitchell, the chief said.
“The bag was found to contain the two phones stolen from the victims the night before,” Wilson said.
All four were taken into custody, he said.
Detectives then obtained a search warrant for the apartment, where they found the handgun believed used in the holdup, Wilson added.
Harper and Ziemoore were being held on $250,000 bail each in the Bergen County Jail, charged with robbery, conspiracy and illegal weapons possession offenses.
Ziemoore also received an additional charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, as well as one for hindering his arrest.
Charged with similar offenses — robbery, hindering, two weapons counts and pot possession — was the 4-foot-11-inch, 115-pound Mitchell, 22. She was being held on $175,000 bail.
A fourth defendant, 19-year-old Jamila Eason, was charged with robbery. She was being held on $100,000 bail.