NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Police are warning women in Jamaica, Queens to be on high alert for a group of robbers they say are targeting older women getting in and out of their cars.
The robbers are after cash, and in some cases they took their victims hostage to get it, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Esther Geffner said she’s afraid to go home alone ever since a woman in her neighborhood was nearly abducted by two men with guns.
“I thought, ‘oh my gosh,’” Geffner said. “[It was] in the middle of the day, and she was unloading her groceries.”
The attack happened right before noon on Friday on Marengo Street off McLaughlin Avenue. Police say the 68-year-old victim screamed and scared off the suspects, and now her neighbors are nervous.
“I have to be careful, because I am always scared of who’s by me, hiding somewhere behind the bushes,” one neighbor said.
Investigators believe a male and female suspect are part of a group of armed thugs preying on older women for cash.
Back in December on Kendrick Place and Mayfield Road, police say two men forced a 58-year-old woman into her car and held her hostage. Meanwhile, a female suspect used the victim’s ATM card to get cash.
The most aggressive attack, thought, happened in April. Police say three suspects approached a 63-year-old woman as she was entering her car, then dragged her to a getaway car. They shoved the victim into the trunk and held her there while a female suspect used her ATM card.
Both victims were released unharmed.
Private security teams have been patrolling the affected neighborhoods and residents said they’re playing it safe.
“I’m looking around me to make sure there’s no cars, and look at my surroundings to make sure nothing happens here,” one resident said.
Until the suspects are caught, the neighborhood is on high alert.
At this point, none of the victims in the robberies have been seriously hurt.