UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police were issuing a warning to parents and students on Thursday, a day after five teenagers were robbed in a one-hour period in Uniondale.
“The victims actually had the phones in their hands and the subjects forcibly removed the phones from them,” said Det. Sgt. John Giambrone, the commanding officer of the Nassau County Robbery Squadd.
According to police, at around 3 p.m. Wednesday a 17-year-old girl walking to her car after leaving Kellenberg High School had her iPhone stolen by a group of five to seven teenagers on Anchor Way Boulevard.
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About 30 minutes later, two other teenagers were targeted. Police said a suspect wearing a red hat grabbed a 17-year-old boy by his arms and took his cell phone and iPod touch before joining up with four other suspects and fleeing on Pembroke Street.
In a third incident, police said one of the suspects grabbed a 12-year-old girl’s arm, snatching her iPhone from her hand. The girl reported pain in her hand after the incident, police said.
In the final incident, police said two suspects — one wearing a red shirt and red hat and the other wearing black clothing — punched a 13-year-old boy in the eye after he refused to give up his cell phone. The victim called police from his home, where he was treated by Nassau County medical technicians.
“I believe these individuals were probably selected because they were by themselves and the gang obviously felt they were easy prey and they could overpower them,” Giambrone said.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports
In a letter to parents, Kellenberg’s principal said students from Turtle Hook Junior High School, Uniondale High School and Kellenberg Memorial had their phones stolen.
Students are being warned to remain alert, keep phones out of sight and shout for help if surrounded.
No arrests have been made.
Police are working with students to come up with composite sketches and reviewing possible surveillance video, as well as using iPhone app technology to help catch the robbers.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.
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