NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a group of four teens wanted in series of street robberies in the Bronx.
Police said they have been linked to at least eight attacks over the last three weeks in Morris Park and Allerton.
In some cases they worked alone and at other times in gangs of three or four, police said.
In several incidents, police said they punched their victims in the face.
One of the most violent muggings happened near Laconia Avenue and Esplanade where a 14-year-old boy was hit in the back of the head so hard he had to go to the hospital, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported. He was attacked for his cellphone and some headphones, police said.
In another incident, police said a 31-year-old man was followed, punched in the face and had his cell phone, necklace, wallet, along with $5,000 in cash taken from him.
The most recent incident occurred Monday evening at the Allerton Avenue subway station. Police said the suspects surrounded a 15-year-old as he sat on a bench at the station before snatching his headphones off his head.
Residents are on edge.
“Every once in a while you hear of something happening but this is ridiculous,” one woman said. “I’m really shocked to hear that kind of thing.”
“Always be aware of your surroundings, always be aware of what’s going on. Don’t make yourself look to be a victim. If you’re not paying attention, if you’re looking at your phone, listening to your headphones you’re going to be a victim more easily and that’s what they look for,” one man said.
Clara Fabian, who runs a food cart in the neighborhood, said she’s taking extra measures to protect herself.
“I put cameras over here. Always I lock my door and my son comes with me too,” she said.
Police have released surveillance video and images of two suspects.
So far police haven’t released any of the suspects’ names but say they are all between 16 and 20 years old.
Despite these incidents, the number of reported cases of robbery in the 49th Precinct is down two percent year to date, CBS2 reported.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.