NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for teenage thugs targeting subway riders.
There have been at least three armed attacks recently. CBS 2’s Dave Carlin has seen pictures of the suspects and knows what they’re after.
A team of baby-faced bandits, young enough to still be in high school, is making life quite stressful in Gotham’s underworld.
Police circulating surveillance camera stills of four teenagers, including one female, allegedly working subway stations together, sometimes with a fifth suspect who has not yet been caught on camera.
“They look pretty young and it’s sad because they have such a great life ahead of them and there’s so much more they can be doing,” said Gwen Everett of Bed-Stuy.
The armed robberies are up to at least three since August, with a total of 10 victims.
Police told Carlin the suspects rob other groups of young people of their iPods, jewelry and cash, each time during crowded evening rush hours.
“By the time you know what happened they’re gone,” said Dan Parilis of Bushwick.
“It would seem there would be at least one officer or undercover on platform if it’s this large,” Midwood, Brooklyn resident Lawrence Colodney said when asked if he was surprised the gang was able to strike so easily during rush hour.
The first incident happened Aug. 15 at around 5 p.m. Police said the suspects, armed with box cutters, robbed four victims inside the Broadway/LaFayette station. Then on Sept. 24 at the same station they struck around 7 p.m., robbing three people at gunpoint as they came down the stairs. Police said that on Oct. 1 at around 7 p.m., the same four, joined by the fifth suspect, robbed three straphangers on a station platform. The victims said they believed the suspects had knives.
So far no one injured in these robberies, but police and straphangers said they are worried as the crime spree rolls on because suspects can get greedier and rougher.
“I’d certainly want it to be nipped in the bud sooner rather than later,” Bushwick resident Marcus Lowenhaupt said.
“A reminder that this kind of thing can still happen and does still happen,” Parilis added.
All four men are about 5-foot-10 and the female is 5-4. Police said she has the tattoos “Loved” and “Hated” on her arm. Some straphangers said those tattoos are half right.
The NYPD said so far this year crime in the subways is up nearly 17 percent compared to last year.
Complete descriptions of the suspects as provided by the police are as follows:
- Black male 17-20, 5-7 to 5-10, 190 pounds, tattoo on right arm.
- Black male, 17-20, 5-9, 180 pounds, earrings in both ears
- Hispanic male, 17-20, 5-10 to 6-feet with braided hair. He has an Eye of Horus tattoo on his neck and spider web tattoo on his left arm.
- Black female, 18-20 years old, 5-4, 120 pounds. She has the word “Hated” with a picture of a rose and the word “Loved” tattooed on her arm.
- Hispanic male, 17-20, 55-10 to 6-1, 190 pounds, with a piercing in his right eyebrow.
Police ask anyone with any information to contact Crime Stoppers. You can:
- Call 1-800-577-8477 (TIPS). All calls are confidential.
- Log on to the Crime Stoppers website
- Text your tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577
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