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Old 02-22-2021, 06:08 PM
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NYC man caught in Florida, charged in broad-daylight heist of SoHo Chanel store
By Larry Celona, Tina Moore and Amanda Woods
February 22, 2021 | 12:38pm | Updated

Eric Spencer is apprehended in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and charged in a federal criminal complaint. NYPD

A career criminal from Brooklyn has been nabbed for the brazen broad-daylight heist of a SoHo Chanel store, officials said Monday — weeks after he allegedly bragged on social media about having enough luxury loot to “open a small boutique.”

Eric Spencer, 29, was arrested on robbery charges in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, according to Manhattan prosecutors.

Spencer and three cohorts are accused of snatching $189,500 worth of pricey goods from the swanky Spring Street shop on Feb. 2, a criminal complaint said.

When a security guard confronted Spencer, he allegedly barked, “What are you going to do? Shoot me?” before reaching into his waistband, where the handle of a gun was visible.

“Nobody touch me!” he allegedly yelled. “Get everything! Grab everything!”

The next day, Spencer bragged on social media about pocketing so many “Double C” items that he could “open a small boutique,” according to the complaint.

He appeared in federal court in the Sunshine State around 11:15 a.m. Monday, and was ordered detained, according to a spokesman for the federal judicial district.

It wasn’t immediately clear when Spencer would be transferred to New York — the process could take a week or longer, the spokesman said.

Spencer — who has 32 prior arrests, including 15 felonies, according to law enforcement sources — will appear in federal court in the Sunshine State Monday.

Investigators are also eyeing him in connection to several other high-profile cases, the sources said.

The Chanel robbery was part of a pattern that began in September, involving mask-wearing thieves entering high-end stores to swipe items before fleeing in cars rented with fake IDs and bearing phony license plates.
officers investigating the Chanel Store in Soho after the robbery.

Spencer’s three accomplices are still on the loose.

“As alleged, Eric Spencer put the public and store personnel in grave danger when he committed a brazen daylight armed robbery of a SoHo boutique earlier this month,” US Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement. “Now the FBI and NYPD have grabbed Spencer, who is in federal custody and awaiting his day in court.”

In a statement, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the bust “highlights the importance of good investigative work and the continuing efforts of the FBI-NYPD Joint Major Theft Task Force.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. described the heist as a “violent takeover of a retail store.”

“Mr. Spencer’s alleged actions violated federal law, and he is now in our custody,” he said. ”For others who plan to behave in the same manner, listen up – the FBI is committed to using every tool at our disposal to hold violent criminals accountable for their decisions, and our partnership with the NYPD is airtight.”

Spencer faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.
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