New York Oggi

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Posted: April 28, 2007

After an eight-week manhunt, the cowardly crook accused of assaulting and robbing two grannies in Queens last month - including a 101-year-old - was collared yesterday.

And it turns out Jack Rhodes, who's 44 and 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, doesn't just prey on old folks - he is suspected of punching the 5-year-old son of another woman he robbed, a police source said.

Cops checking a report of a car break-in busted Rhodes at 9:40 a.m. yesterday near the corner of Carroll and Henry streets in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. He was carrying a crack pipe, police said.

Rhodes' elderly victims - Rose Morat, 101, and Solange Elizee, 85 - picked him out of a photo array and a conventional lineup, cops said.

"I am so sorry for what happened," Rhodes said last night as he left the 109th Precinct.

When asked by a Post reporter if he enjoys beating up old women, Rhodes snapped, "No, I do not!"

Morat was mugged March 4 in the vestibule of her Jamaica Estates building. She was punched in the face several times fighting off her assailant.

"I hope they got him," said Morat.

A half-hour after he snatched $33 from Morat's purse, Rhodes assaulted Elizee a few blocks away, cops said. She lost $45, a wedding ring and another ring.

Cops said the bicycling bandit pedaled his way to three felonies that day, beginning with a basement burglary.

Rhodes is charged with robbery as a hate crime - because of the victims' ages - burglary, assault and grand larceny.

He was hit with similar charges, minus the hate crime, for a Dec. 30 basement mugging of a 51-year-old woman.

Sentenced to prison in 1995 on robbery and burglary charges out of Queens, Rhodes violated parole three times before he finally finished his prison term in 2003.

He apparently was clean for a while, and during 2006 did odd jobs for an Elmhurst woman.

"I knew his past. I knew he had problems with drugs. But I never saw him smoke a joint or anything," said Doris Garfield, 82. "I am shocked, because the man . . . always treated me with respect."

Rhodes also had a job last year with Modern Way Lumber Co. in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

But Rhodes didn't return from an errand with a company pickup truck last September, and his bosses called cops.

He even had the truck with him when he robbed another 59-year-old woman on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica that month, cops said.

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