NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The NYPD was trying to put a stop to a mugging spree in Queens Friday. Officers were stepping up patrols in their search for a group of robbers targeting people at bus stops in Fresh Meadows.

Antonio Baez said he had no idea there’s a band of thugs beating up and robbing people in Fresh Meadows as they walk to and away from area bus stops at night.

“It amazes me because this area is kind of quiet,” he said. “But it is like a blind spot. You don’t see no officers hardly passing through here. And it takes a long time for the buses to come.”

Detectives said three men seen in surveillance video were responsible for a total of seven incidents.

The victims were approached from behind and robbed of their valuables, including cash, wallets, credit cards, and cell phones.

The attacks took place in the same general area, the first on October 20.

Investigators said there were three more attacks this week alone. On Monday night, a woman was robbed of her cell phone near a bus stop right on Union Turnpike in front of St. John’s University.

Then on Tuesday, police said, the suspects struck again near the intersection of 77th Avenue and 166th Street.

Two more victims, both women, were assaulted and robbed Wednesday night, one near the intersection of 197th Street and 75th Avenue, another near 165th Street and Horace Harding Expressway.

Although university officials said none of these cases involve their students, several were worried.

“Probably after 8 o’clock I will stay on campus,” one sophomore said. “I’m just scared about this.”

“It’s not something I’m happy about, being that it’s St. John’s University. A lot of kids come in and out of this school, all different times, during the day, during the night,” another student said.

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