Brooklyn – Councilman David G. Greenfield and State Senator Martin Golden have increased to $40,000 the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man suspected of killing three local store owners over the past four months, including a merchant on Flatbush Avenue on Friday.
The latest murder came on Friday night, when 78-year-old Rahmatolla Vahidipour was killed inside his Flatbush fashion store. The NYPD has linked the gun used in that murder to the weapon used to fatally shoot Bay Ridge merchant Mohamed Gebeli in July and Bensonhurst store owner Isaac Kadare in August. In response to Friday’s murder, Councilman Greenfield, Councilman Vincent Gentile and Councilman Mathieu Eugene today met with top NYPD officials at a meeting organized by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at the 66th Precinct station house, where the investigation is based out of, to hear exactly what is being done to identify and capture the serial killer responsible for these three deaths.
The NYPD is offering a reward of $22,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for the murders. Councilman Greenfield is partnering with Senator Golden to increase the reward to $40,000 for an arrest and conviction in these three murders.
“Our police department and community will not rest until this killer is brought to justice. We won’t allow an individual to terrorize our neighborhoods and leave business owners fearing for their lives. Someone out there has information about these cold-blooded crimes, and hopefully this reward money will motivate them to do the right thing. Anybody who noticed unusual or suspicious activity in the vicinity of any of these three shootings is urged to immediately contact the police,” said Councilman Greenfield. "I especially want to thank NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Chief Thomas Chan, Chief Ray Ferrari and all of New York's finest for making this investigation the top priority and expending every resource to find this serial killer."
"This is the third tragedy to take the life of a Brooklyn shopkeeper and we must end this pattern of violence. That is why I am contributing to this reward that will help lead to the arrest and conviction of this murderer. The killing this past Friday has again shocked and scared the Brooklyn business community. We must get this criminal off our streets and I encourage anyone who may have seen something in connection with any of these murders to contact the New York City Police Department," said Senator Golden.
In addition to contributing to the reward fund, Councilman Greenfield teamed with Sephardic Bikur Holim in August to launch a memorial fund for the family of his constituent Isaac Kadare, who left behind a wife and four children. Councilman Greenfield personally donated $250 to the fund, and is taking this opportunity to again urge the community to give within their means on behalf of the family. Checks made out to “Sephardic Bikur Holim” with “Kadare Memorial Fund” in the memo line can be mailed to 425 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, New York, 11223. Donations can also be made online at sbhonline.org.
Anyone with information is urged to immediately contact the NYPD at (800) 577-TIPS. Tipsters do not need to give their name in order to receive the reward.