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Judge Sentences Midtown Eyeglass Scammer To 7 Years

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Gavel (credit: CBS 2)

Gavel (credit: CBS 2)

corn_feature Irene Cornell
Irene Cornell has been a reporter at WCBS for 40 years, and she still...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – He’s been in and out of jail 41 times in the past 12 years and now he’s going away even longer.

Judge Carol Berkman sentenced Naim Jabbar to seven years in prison for what authorities called the “eyeglass scam” on Thursday.

Officials said the 6-foot-2-inch, 270-pound man would use his size, fists and anger to intimate and force people to hand over money after he deliberately bumped into them on the street, accusing them of breaking his glasses.


LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reports

“This defendant is a dangerous individual whose highly effective criminal strategy has been to threaten and intimidate victims into turning over their money,” said District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “Today’s sentencing is another example of how intelligence-driven prosecution results in strong sentences for repeat offenders.”

Jabbar admitted he’s bigger than most people you see and that this was the way he made his living.

Midtown Manhattan was his stomping ground where he’d prey on tourists and look for people who were weak or vulnerable. They were scared, Berkman said, or why would they hand over $40 to $160 for a cheap five Dollar pair of glasses?

A jury convicted Jabbar of robbery in the third degree and fraud in December for robbing a man in July 2010.

On July 16, Jabbar bumped into a man in front of 145 West 58th St. and “then aggressively claimed that the man had broken the defendant’s glasses. Using his imposing stature and aggressiveness to instill fear in his victim,” Jabbar demanded $40 for his glasses and an additional $60, according to the District Attorney’s office.

A good Samaritan witnessed the robbery and called police. Police arrested Jabbar shortly afterward.

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