A Brooklyn man who was on the run from police was captured Wednesday night by federal authorities and charged in connection with a brazen armed robbery of a Manhasset jewelry store that occurred in 2011, Nassau County police said late Wednesday.
Christopher Evans, 28, was actively wanted by Nassau County police for almost two years. He was finally captured Wednesday night in Brooklyn and taken into custody by members of the US Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.
At his Thursday morning arraignment, Evans pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree criminal use of a firearm. During the arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead, he was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond. He is due back in court on Monday.
Police said Evans was one of five men involved in a brazen armed robbery of a Manhasset shop on Oct. 14, 2011. Police said Evans was with three other men, Leroy Nelson, Javon Gamble and Reggie Fowler, when they entered London Jewelers in the Americana Manhasset mall to allegedly commit the mid-day robbery. The men were wearing blue jumpsuits, had black bandanas over their faces, and wore gloves as two of the men displayed handguns announcing a robbery, police said in 2011. The third suspect used a hammer to smash the glass of display cases while the fourth member of the crew removed Rolex and Breitling watches after smashing through glass display cases with a hammer, according to cops. None of the 14 people – 13 employees and one customer – present in the store at the time were injured.
The four men then fled from the store on foot across the parking lot to a waiting Cadillac Escalade on Northern Boulevard. Responding cops pursued the car onto the Long Island Expressway, where the men fled from the car because they became stuck in traffic, police said.
The alleged driver, Samuel Cephas, was arrested along with three of the men, after a massive search by dozens of police officers in Nassau County. The NYPD and Lake Success police assisted with the search and located the men near the Lake Success Country Club. Officers also recovered the alleged gun used in the crime when the men were arrested in 2011.
Gamble was convicted by a jury on March 13 and has been sentenced to serve 25 years in state prison for his role in the robbery, according to state corrections records. Nelson and Fowler pleaded guilty in connection with the robbery and are currently awaiting sentencing. Cephas pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.