Feds: Battle Creek hammer attack suspect caught hiding in NYC attic

Navjot Singh was arrested during Operation VR sweep

A surveillance image of Citgo gas station attack suspect Navjot Singh, taken on Dec. 27, 2015 at another store. (Battle Creek Police Dept.)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused of a ‘vicious’ hammer attack on a Battle Creek gas station clerk was found hiding in the attic of a home in the New York City area, federal authorities say.

Navjot Singh was arrested during a fugitive sweep by the U.S. Marshal’s Office. According to a news release by the agency, a joint investigation by city, state and federal investigators led them to a home in Queens, New York. On Feb. 2, the team watching the home found Singh hiding in a concealed attic area in the house and arrested him.

Officers believe Singh was the man who robbed the Citgo gas station on Capital Avenue on Dec. 28. Surveillance video from the store shows the attacker repeatedly hit the clerk with a hammer during a robbery.

A screenshot of surveillance video showing a robbery suspect attack a gas station employee with a hammer in Battle Creek on Dec. 28, 2015. (Courtesy: Battle Creek police)
A screenshot of surveillance video showing a robbery suspect attack a gas station employee with a hammer in Battle Creek on Dec. 28, 2015. (Courtesy: Battle Creek police)

Investigators said earlier that Singh is related to the victim.

Operation VR led to the arrests of more than 100 fugitives in the western half of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, the U.S. Marshal’s service said. The agency said those arrested during the sweep that ran Feb. 1 to March 11 included gang members, sex offenders and violent criminals.

“We applied a strategically focused approach to locate and apprehend the nation’s most dangerous fugitives. By removing these violent offenders from the streets, the communities they preyed upon can immediately feel more secure.” said U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Harlow.

A March 31, 2016 photo shows U.S. Marshals searching for suspect. (Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Marshals)
A March 31, 2016 photo shows U.S. Marshals searching for suspect. (Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Marshals)

The U.S. Marshals Service said a total of 649 people were arrested in the sweep. The charges they’re facing include 559 counts of homicide and 946 sexual offenses. Investigators also recovered 17 children who were abducted and reported missing.

A separate sweep targeting sex offenders led to 18 arrests, Michigan State Police said Friday. Troopers said three more are still wanted for violating Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act.

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