Police are searching for three suspects that they say robbed a Brooklyn tattoo parlor, and they also allege that one of the suspects raped one of the customers. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
It was a nightmare for tattoo artists on Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn.
Police say two men ran in on January 17 and announced a robbery after a woman rang the bell and got workers to open the door.
"Saying that she was looking to get a tattoo, but before she could finish the word tattoo, two guys had ran in, one with a gun and the other one with a knife," said tattoo artist Shaun Parker.
Parker was working when it happened at 2 a.m. on Friday at the Inktastic Tattoo Parlor. He said that the robbers had tools on them and quickly removed two huge flat screen TVs from the wall. He said they also took cellphones, computers and more than $1,000 in cash from workers and customers.
Unfortunately, that wasn't enough. Police say one of the men raped a 23-year-old woman. Parker said it happened in front of everyone.
"They forced all of us to the back, held us down, told us that anybody that moves, our head will get shot," Parker said.
A man who lives in the neighborhood said that he hopes police catch the three suspects as quickly as possible.
"I'd rather you rob me and take the money than to rape somebody. That's bad," the man said. "It's no need to rape nobody out here."
Workers at the tattoo shop say they have told police that at least two of the people involved in the incident have been seen around the shop before.
"Last year, she would knock on the door around the same time, saying that she was looking to get a tattoo, like something small or something quick, and I kept telling her that the shop is closed, the shop is closed," Parker said. "This time, with the shop being busy, thinking that she really wanted to come in and get a tattoo, then this is what happened. So it seems like they've been plotting on it for about a few months or maybe a year."
Tattoo artists say the gunman looks familiar as well.
Police say the three drove off in a new white Nissan Maxima.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.