NYC has been plagued by a spate of new thefts by armed moped thieves, who aggressively ride the city’s sidewalks and attack unsuspecting victims.
Three of the most recent attacks occurred over the weekend, when thieves ripped a $12,000 watch from a man’s arm while he was out walking in Chelsea, and the very next day two women walking near the Guggenheim Museum on Upper East Side, thieves on a moped trying to steal her jewelry.
A third attack occurred in Inwood. In all three, the thieves jump the sidewalks on bicycles, grabbing their unsuspecting victims and attempting to rob them.
Main crime in NYC is on the rise with a 35 percent increase since the same time last year, according to NYPD data. Robberies, grand thefts and auto thefts fuel the crime wave.
This weekend’s moped attacks began on Friday when a 64-year-old man was ambushed around 1pm while walking down West 23rd Street towards 7th Avenue in Chelsea
The video shows thieves on dirt bikes and a moped jumping over the curb and cornering him on the sidewalk. One of the thieves then jumps off the bike and violently rips a $12,000 Rolex watch from the man’s wrist and then pushes him to the ground.
The man appears to be doing his best to hold the watch but was unable to stop the thief. The victim had minor lacerations to her right arm and hand, but refused treatment at the scene.
The next day, two more brazen attacks by thieves on mopeds were reported in Manhattan — including one near one of the city’s most popular museums.
At around 1pm on Friday, a 64-year-old man was walking down West 23rd Street towards 7th Avenue in Chelsea and snatched a $12,000 Rolex watch from the victim’s wrist, throwing him to the ground before they sped off
The two masked men on mopeds pull up alongside the unsuspecting victim and one tries to snatch a Rolex watch from his wrist
The masked thieves grab the man’s arm as they attempt to rip off his expensive watch. He suffered minor injuries from the attack
The attack knocked the victim to the ground while he struggled to keep his $12,000 watch. But he couldn’t stop the thief
The three men on bikes wore black face masks, dark hoodies and dark pants. The dirt bike they rode was green and white, and the moped was maroon, police said
On Saturday, two brazen thieves rode towards two 28-year-old women walking down a sidewalk just around the corner from the Guggenheim Museum on the Upper East Side.
Police say the attack happened around 12:17 p.m. on East 89th Street, when the thieves tried to rip a necklace from the woman’s neck, but the woman fights off the thief’s reach, causing her to stumble to the ground.
As her friend tries to pull her out of harm’s way, the moped passenger jumps off the bike and lunges at her, trying again to grab the victim’s necklace, who is now struggling, kicking the thief on the sidewalk.
The two thieves gave up and raced away empty-handed on the moped. According to the police, the woman who was attacked suffered minor injuries but refused medical treatment.
In another brazen attack that same afternoon, two men on bicycles attempted to steal a necklace from an unsuspecting victim who was walking the sidewalk in Inwood, an Upper Manhattan neighborhood.
On Saturday, two brazen thieves rode towards two 28-year-old women walking down a sidewalk just around the corner from the Guggenheim Museum on the Upper East Side
The thieves attempted to rip a necklace from the woman’s neck but struggled against the thief’s reach, causing her to stumble to the ground. A video shows her friend trying to drag her away from the suspects
Another view shows the thieves driving down the sidewalk just seconds before approaching the two women
The woman’s boyfriend rushes to her and pulls her out of harm’s way after the thieves try to grab her necklace
Police say the thieves rode a moped onto the site at the corner of Nagle Avenue and Arden Street, where they were chasing a 29-year-old man.
The video shows one thief maneuvering the bike while the other reaches out and grabs him, apparently hitting him on the head.
A Good Samaritan jumped in to help the man and the thieves fled the scene on their mopeds while three shots were reportedly fired. Nobody was injured in the incident.
“It’s good that people on the block helped each other,” said Miseal Romano ABC7.
“It’s something beautiful and good to be in the community where we have each other’s backs, even if it’s still pretty scary.”
In another brazen attack, this one in Inwood, two men on bicycles ride onto the sidewalk and chase an unsuspecting victim
The thieves tried to steal a necklace from the 29-year-old man who was walking the sidewalk in Inwood. The man sees the bike coming towards him on the sidewalk and runs, but they catch up with him
A good Samaritan jumps to help, but the thieves flee the scene on their moped and are said to have fired three shots
Local residents told ABC7 that it’s not uncommon to see bikes on the sidewalk, like e-bikes, being used by delivery men, so New Yorkers aren’t always on the alert.
Many of the bikes, including those involved in the weekend’s incidents, do not have number plates – making it difficult for police to track them down. No arrests were made.
According to NYPD data, major crime in NYC has increased 35 percent since the same point last year. Robberies, grand thefts and auto thefts fuel the crime wave.
As of August 21, 2022, the NYPD had about 3,000 more raids reported than the year before.
Crime and rape also rose slightly from a year ago, but homicides and shooting victims fell.
Mayor Eric Adams said he would not entertain calls to reduce the number of police officers in the city, but would advise against the “hardline” policing by NYPD officers.
Police officers are part of the mayor’s “public safety apparatus,” he said last week, adding, “You can’t take the police out of this equation,” which includes dealing with homelessness and improving the school system.
He added he has no plans to stop speaking out about crime in the Big Apple, saying, “I will not be contradictory and I will not speak about the violence that happens in our cities every day.”
The total number of crimes has increased by a third so far this year compared to the same period in 2021, with the number of crimes as of August 21 standing at 16,692 compared to 14,045 at the same time last year.
Images of ongoing violence in NYC have stunned the United States and much of the rest of the world, and are feared to hamper efforts to lure workers and tourists back to the COVID-ravaged metropolis.