PATERSON, NJ - Two men were arrested in the early hours of Friday after they allegedly robbed two taxi drivers at gunpoint, according to Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale.

In a statement Speziale announced that officers responded to a call of the first robbery at approximately 11:58 p.m. on Thursday in the area of 23rd Avenue and East 32 Street. In that incident, a taxi driver said that he was approached by the two men who robbed him before fleeing the area on foot.

While a search was launched immediately the suspects were not located.

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About an hour later, Speziale said, a second taxi driver reported being robbed by two men in the area of Market Street and Colt Street. While searching for the suspects, Street Crime Detectives James Jenkins, Anthony Castronova, Luis Roca, and Sergeant Rick La Trecchia observed two males, later identified as Richard Acevedo, 27, and Javier Lopez, 23, matching the physical description of the suspects walking in the area, one of them said to be in possession of a handgun.

Noticing the officers both males fled on foot in the direction of Hamilton Street. 

While Lopez was quickly apprehended, Acevedo continued to run, discarding a handgun before he was also arrested. 

During the ensuing investigation officers were approached by a third taxi driver who also reported being robbed by two men minutes earlier in the area of Main and Market Streets.

The suspects were taken into custody and charged in connection with two of the robbery incidents and the Major Crimes Unit will continue the investigation in an effort to determine if either of the individuals were involved in additional incidents.

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