The scene played out on the streets of Astoria starting around 6 a.m.
Police sources say the suspect, 33-year old Andell Williams of Brooklyn, attempted to rob two locations early in the morning, with one of them being successful. He then attempted to rob a Laundromat, but left empty-handed and drove off in a white BMW. The store clerk alerted two nearby police officers, who put out a call for the vehicle.
Officers later spotted the car and attempted to pull it over, but police say Williams ditched it on Crescent Ave and fled on foot, eluding the officers.
They called for back up, and the search widened to driveways and backyards across the area.
As officers were processing the scene, they say a man matching the suspect's description came casually walking down the sidewalk, curious about what was going on. Because he seemed suspicious and because he matched the description, police detained him.
One of the robbbery victims then identified him as the suspect. Officers also recovered a Glock handgun in the bushes.
Williams is charged with attempted robbery, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of stolen property, obstructing governmental administration, assault, bail jumping, fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle, false impersonation, reckless driving, and aggravated unlicensed operator.
Authorities say he has 14 prior arrests.