Two Knifepoint Robberies on Riverside Drive in The 70s Are Being Investigated as a ‘Pattern,’ Police Say

By Carol Tannenhauser

A pair of knifepoint robberies that occurred five days apart on Riverside Drive in the West 70s are “being developed as a pattern,” according to an NYPD spokesperson. The perpetrators are still at large.

On Sunday night, January 3rd, a 28-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were walking north on Riverside Drive, between 74th and 75th Streets, at around 5 p.m., when they were approached from behind by two unknown males in their teens or early 20s, who displayed a knife and demanded property, threatening to stab them. “One individual grabbed property from the man, including a Samsung S9 phone, cash, and credit cards,” the spokesperson said. According to Captain Neil Zuber, commander of the 20th Precinct, in which the incident occurred, police scoured the area afterwards, but were unsuccessful in finding the pair.

“A level 1 mobilization was called and units from the Strategic Response Group (SRG) are in the area assisting us in the canvass for now,” Captain Zuber emailed WSR, as the events were unfolding. “There was some confusion at first by the victims as to exactly where it happened and in which direction the perpetrators fled, but we’ve already found video that captured the incident.”

This was the second knifepoint robbery in the area in five days.

“On Wednesday, December 30th, at 5 p.m., a female, 19, and a male, 20, were walking south on Riverside Drive, around 73rd Street, when they were approached from behind by two unknown males, who pushed the male victim to the ground and punched him in the head,” the NYPD spokesperson reported. “While he was down, one individual displayed a knife to the female and demanded that she take off her coat—a Canada Goose coat valued at $800. She complied, and the individual also took her bag. In addition, two iPhones, credit cards, and two sets of Apple AirPods were stolen from the two victims.”

The perpetrators are described only as males in their late teens or 20s, wearing blue, yellow, or red jackets. As of now, both robberies are open complaints and the investigation is ongoing.

Keep up to date on local news and events by signing up for our free email newsletter.

NEWS | 23 comments | permalink
    1. ian says:

      I’m glad to see that the rhetoric of reduced policing and redistribution of wealth are beginning to pay off. Now these needy individuals will be able to feed their families.

    2. blacklikeu says:

      “The perpetrators are described only as males in their late teens or 20s”
      Really?
      Why not describe their approximate height, approximate wright and if you dare – their approximate skin color as well.
      Who is the police trying to protect? The victims or the criminals?

      • DP says:

        Both incidents took place at 5:00. It’s dark at 5:00. Being assaulted is jarring and frightening, especially in the dark. Maybe the victims didn’t have the wherewithal to closely study their attackers and that’s the only description they could give.

    3. Kaitlyn says:

      The community needs to hold our local politicians more accountable. A lot has contributed to the rise in crime (COVID, bail reform, a mayor who either wants to destroy the city or is just ineffective). Either way, it doesn’t need to be this way. Everyone who Iives, works or is visiting this city deserves to be safe and should demand it.

      • Jay says:

        Kaitlyn,

        De Blasio wants to destroy the City? I’m sorry, he’s not DJT and Mitch.

        Furthermore, it’s hardly news that at 5PM on a winter night, it’s not a great idea to walk down RSD. This was true in 2005 too.

        Muggings occur in NYC. Did you just move here within the last 5 years?

        Unless there were a cop on the same stretch to sidewalk more police in the area really wouldn’t have helped. Now what has vastly improved in the last 5 years is low light security cameras. Perhaps some of the apartment buildings along RSD have installed some of this better gear.

    4. BK says:

      Why are you not reporting the race of the perpetrators?

      • WSR says:

        We have reported everything the NYPD told us.

      • jc says:

        How would this information help you?

        • DD says:

          I cannot believe that the police did not take down this information. It is key to finding the suspects.

          • lynn says:

            I rec’d alerts from the Citizens app when these were incidents were taking place, and there was audio (along with text), describing the assailants in detail. This was shared with thousands of people in real-time so it’s absurd that the police didn’t include it in this report.

      • Not. Having. It. says:

        Because reporting generalized info on crime suspects absent supporting evidence leads to racialized panic of the sort that many WSR readers are happy to indulge in

    5. Leon says:

      My civics knowledge is rusty. Could someone please remind me whether it is the jurisdiction of the city or state that determines the penalties for crimes?

      It seems like in recent years the penalties have been greatly reduced so a) police officers are basically unable to arrest anyone, and b) since people aren’t afraid of being arrested, they are less apprehensive about committing crimes.

      The city needs more and stricter law enforcement (while remaining respectful of our civil rights). That will be one of the main litmus tests for me when voting for mayor.

      • Peter says:

        The state is more responsible than the city. The next mayor will not have stricter law enforcement. It will be the opposite. The police force will continue to shrink as the budget gets cut again. The state legislature will continue to push criminal justice reform. Are you aware of the emptying of the state prisons? These folks are now hack in nyc and in homeless shelters.

    6. Nich says:

      For whatever reason, there are almost 0 police walking around the neighborhood. Why is that the case?

      • Iivehere says:

        This morning around 11:30 there were two cops on horses at the 79th St entrance to Riverside Park

        • MAD says:

          There were 3 police in the 72nd Street station at 12:45 p.m. today, 2 upstairs and one on the stairs (downtown side). Don’t know what was going on or if this was just a precaution.

      • MT says:

        That’s not accurate. I see police patrolling the streets every day when I walk around W. 70th area. That said, agree things have gotten a little shady around here, but have improved somewhat since the March-June period. The other day, however, I saw a man urinating on the street by Starbucks in front of several children. An unfortunate sight, but kudos to the police who arrived right before he had time to put his junk back in his pants. He was arrested.

        • Carlos says:

          Kudos to the police for being so responsive and taking action. The question is, what was the penalty for his action? I’m guessing he was back on the street almost immediately. I’m not saying he should get the chair for this, but there should be some consequence, particularly if it is a repeat offender.

      • LongtimeNYer says:

        When I walk around the neighborhood (admittedly not that much now), I frequently see police cars but rarely police officers on foot. Isn’t the whole idea of community policing that officers on foot will be available and interact in a positive way with the community?!

        • lynn says:

          I walked from 72nd & B’way to 89th & Amsterdam this morning and passed two officers on 79th & Amsterdam. On my way back around noon a homeless man started following me and he literally got in my face screaming incoherently about laundry mats and the state-of-the-world. I was on B’way and close to 86th at that point so when I saw the bus coming I ran and hopped on thinking it would be the safest thing to do, but he followed me onto the bus and several of the passengers bolted off. I think it would be very beneficial to have more police presence in the neighborhood.

    7. LYJ says:

      It’s about time the mayor and the police will start doing their basic job and take some radical and serious actions to restore safety and security to the streets. It is our basic and fundamental right as residents to be free of fear. So far they have completely failed and crime has increased exponentially under their watch. These recent 2 cases could have ended up much worse as the horrific murder of Tessa Majors last year. It was pure luck they ended with minimal physical harm.