RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island town is reviving and expanding its anti-bias task force after a string of nearly two dozen violent robberies targeting Hispanic men in the past 18 months.

There have been eight robberies this year and about 15 last year, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegemiller.

He described the incidents as crimes of opportunity against Hispanic immigrants who are known to carry cash and reluctant to contact police.

“It’s really being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Hegemiller told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

In April, a Hispanic man was beaten and robbed of $400 near the train tracks in downtown Riverhead.

In October, two men fractured the skull of a Hispanic man with a baseball bat and robbed him of $850.

Two men were arrested on Monday after a robbery on Old Country Road, but Hegemiller said police are investigating whether the duo is responsible for all of the crimes in the past few months.

Hegemiller said people should walk in groups in well lit areas, never carry large amounts of cash and always report anything suspicious or any kind of crime to the police.

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