NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police were searching Sunday night for a bandit who robbed a teenage boy at gunpoint for some pricey sneakers right in Times Square.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, sneakers passed hand to hand in the trading pit at Sneaker Con this weekend in Midtown. Teens were bartering for each other’s in-demand shoes, and one of the hottest brands was Adidas’ Yeezy sneakers.
“People will do whatever they want for those shoes,” said Paul Mako.
Police said just a few blocks from Sneaker Con on Saturday in Times Square, a 17-year-old boy was robbed at gunpoint of his Yeezy sneakers – by a man he thought was going to buy them.
Police say a man bid on the boy’s sneakers online, and then agreed to meet a 17-year-old in the mezzanine of the Times Square-42nd Street subway station at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue around noon Saturday.
“Meetups, you can get hurt — but that’s never happened to me, because I meet up in safe locations,” said Mike Ainauzzi.
“I’ve done plenty of Craigslist deals for shoes, but I prefer to do it in person,” said Daniel Tarallo.
The victim told police that the suspect initially agreed to pay $340, but once he showed up said he needed to break a $100 bill and started walking down into the subway, asking strangers to make change. The victim followed him.
Police said that was when the suspect showed the victim he had a gun in his waistband, took the kicks, and ran way.
Shoe aficionados at Sneaker con said they are wary to sell over the internet, because you never know who is really on the other side of the deal.
“There’s been countless stories where people have bought a pair of shoes, asked for the money back because they thought it was fake, and then just send over a brick and keep the shoes and get the money back,” said Joseph Ashaj. “It happens all the time.”
“You’re never supposed to go alone, and always meet up by a police station or something,” Mako added.
The suspect in the robbery is described as an approximately 6 foot tall, 190 pound 23-year-old Hispanic male.
Anyone with information in regards to the robbery is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.