By Carol Tannenhauser
Two 17-year-old girls were robbed in the 72nd Street tunnel in Riverside Park at about 10PM Monday night. Police are seeking two individuals of unknown description and age, who were traveling together “on a scooter,” a spokesperson said. “One got off and removed cell phones from both girls, but only one phone ended up being taken. The suspects fled on the scooter.”
Upper West Sider Jim Naughton witnessed the incident and alerted us. “I was walking my dog in Riverside Park last night at around 9:45,” Naughton wrote. “I was on Riverside Drive at about 73rd Street. A moped, with two people on board, entered the park at 74th Street and rode down the path to the 72nd Street tunnel that leads to the river. These two people assaulted and robbed several people in the tunnel. I’m not sure if they were threatened with a gun or knife.”
The police made no mention of weapons.
“Can you warn the UWS that this is happening all over town?” Naughton asked. “If you see two people on a scooter approaching you, you are about to be robbed.” (Thanks, Jim, for the tip.)
Handful of similar robberies reported all around the city this past week. Whether it’s the same group or copy cats, it’s an alarming trend.
Cowards. Pick on someone your own size.
In South America this is the way most folks get robbed by folks on motorcycles or scooters. Thanks to an open boarder and gangs moving north we will see much more of this and increased violence.
Hey John, did they use the same scooters they crossed the border with or did they rent them from Revel?
Ummm….”Thanks to an open boarder and gangs moving north we will see much more of this and increased violence.”
Gee, doesn’t THAT sound familiar? Think it was in July of 2015 when some guy with crazy blonde hair rode a “gold” escalator to announce he would run for president and, if elected, he would get Mexico to pay for a wall to keep out all them “criminals and rapists”
For crying out loud, can you please get off using other people’s taking points and parroting the talking heads on FoxNews and OAN and use common sense and think for yourself for once! These crimes are not committed by some criminal element that is illegally crossing the southern border. New York, and all large cities (especially in the US) have had this kind of crime perpetrated by local street thugs forever. As times have changed, the thugs change with them. With the popularity of these motor scooters that are now ridiculously cheap and have proliferated everywhere in the city, the thugs are now using them to commit crimes. If the border was turned into a modern day Maginot Line, this would still be going on. Stop making everything criminal be tied to the border. Not only is it xenophobic, but it is simply blindly following the statements of others. I swear, if Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson told their viewers that the only way to live a happy life was to jump off the George Washington Bridge, the NYPD would be fishing the bodies of half of America out of the Hudson River.
But that would be a good thing. As long as it is the cult half of America. Not only are Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson xenophobic racists, they’re also vaccinated and living in their multi-million dollar mansions far, far away from other people while mocking the pandemic, science, and climate change. Of course, they don’t live near flood zones. They don’t live or work near anyone. They phone it in. Hannity was a failed disc jockey and Carlson a rich heir who never worked a day in his life — he just spews nonsense over the air. The perps doing this– at least the others — have already been photographed and they’re not Hispanic. So that crazy guy with blonde hair can still go to prison for obstruction of justice, treason, insurrection, and being a compulsive liar, but maybe one of his ex-wives or five kids will get tired of him first.
Carlson is not an heir. He married an heiress to a food company.
Josh: Your excellent response is wonderful…well-written and quite knowledgeable (Maginot line…how many people would recall that!). Quite refreshing!
Jumping to conclusions, I see.
Before you comment on the impact of US border policy on crime in New York City, wouldn’t it be a good idea to actually know how to spell “border”?
“..open boarder…” Are you referring to Canada?
No reason to think this robbery profile is specific to immigrants, more likely the natural progression due to more scooters, motorcycles and e-bikes in the city. Not rocket science, our locals can come up with things like this on their own.
I was thinking the same thing. This is real Brazilian stuff.
Yes, indeed. My bet is that there’s a favela crime lord that is sending his minions up to NY to steal cell phones.
This is what happens when you don’t enforce the laws against scooters, motorized mopeds in bike lanes, motorized scooters with no license plates, etc. Now they’re using them anywhere to rob people congratulations 24th precinct.
It’s the 20th precinct
I got chased there around 9pm, same time last year (so it was dark). I was biking and was walking my bike up the steep ramp, and as I was getting ready to hop on back, some guys who were hanging there chased after me on their bike. It was pretty scary but I just cycled faster and then was back on the road on 72nd. The moped situation really sucks.
The exact same thing happened near the Guggenheim this weekend in broad daylight. I work on that block I’ve always felt safe there so this was a real shock to me.
When I come home to the UWS I feel like I’m walking a gauntlet from 86th to 68th. When I have a break I use the 72nd street tunnel to enter the park to ‘unwind,’ but I’m not so sure I’d have the energy to run or fight back. They must have felt trapped. It’s depressing to know that someone on a scooter can literally run you down and assault and rob so many people. : (
This is a direct result of not enforcing the scooter laws or the laws against motorized vehicles in bike lanes and motorized vehicles without license plates etc. so now they’re using them to drive around anywhere they want and rob people.
Send them to Rikers. I honestly don’t care what happens to them. Want to avoid Rikers and all the bad things that happen there? Don’t commit crimes.
The lighting along the ramp and on the staircase at the West 72 Street tunnel is dim and poorly lit. I would NOT walk my dog or stroll there when it’s dark.
Use your common sense, Upper Westsiders!
Although you’re right next to the W. 72 St. Dog Run, its not safe at night if no one is around.
If you need to head down to the Pier Cafe at 70th St., then perhaps use the ramp at 69th Street and Riverside Boulevard. In an emergency, there are doormen buildings right there all along Riverside Blvd.
I choose to walk my dog on West End Avenue, north of W. 72 Street. It’s busy along W.E.A. and the doormen can help with any problem. Never at night in Riverside Park, where it can be desolate and risky!
Where are those critically important yellow Emergency Boxes or life-saving Park Enforcement Patrol (P.E.P.) vehicles stationed in Riverside Park??
No where, sadly.
So your advice is don’t go outside when it’s dark because there are bad guys out there? Shouldn’t everyone feel safe walking outside at any time at night? Seems to me that instead of victim blaming we should be focused on preventing crime in the first instance. Crazy thought I know. . .
Agreed…why should I have to map out routes by timing on when it’s safe to take the dog out. I pay enough taxes to live here to expect a better response than “don’t go out at night”. And relying on doormen is not a strategy…you’re not their responsibility if you’re just walking by. I had a sidewalk electric bike mow over my dog, when I tried to hold him until I could call police several doormen were watching but no one came to assist me. Maybe that guy has now moved on to robbing people on a moped because he realized he can get away with anything.
“unknown description and age, ” Ok, so how do the police expect to find them? And you are telling me these 17 year old girls can’t describe their color/height/body frame? What they were wearing? Please.
I’m fairly sure that descriptions were given to the police at the 20th precinct but they just haven’t released the information/descriptions to any press yet.
A man was a witness as well.
Everybody with followers please tweet this to the mayor, council people and news agencies! I am not on twitter.
I was hanging out w my dog Sunday evening between 7 and 8 right by Eleanor, 100 yards from that tunnel. Two guys on a “scooter” (really a motorcycle or dirt bike w/o plates) were flying around the park sidewalk feet from me & others ,and then headed onto Riverside Bld. Two minutes later a uniformed park cop in his car rolled up, I sopped him and and I told him about these guys (and even mentioned it’s a common purse snatching getaway vehicle now). He responded by saying that once they leave the actual park he’s not going to do anything, and drove off. It was getting really dark so I split. The cop was absolutely useless, no big surprise here, and you can bet the criminals know that. I don’t know if was the same two guys because the article doesn’t describe them, but seems very plausible. Regardless, just get used to the idea that you are on totally your own in the city now– the cops just don’t care, at best they show up after you are mugged/stabbed/raped/killed. I used to love this neighborhood.
The bike lobby is responsible for the proliferation of mopeds and scooters and ebikes with no plates. Not only that, the speed camera blanket pushed by the urbanist cult lead to nefarious actors being more willing to drive with no plates.
Nope. People who ride regular bicycles and even people who use the legal, speed-limited pedal-assist variety do not like the proliferation of these heavy and fast electric mopeds. There’s no bike lobby that wants these in parks or bike lanes.
What “bike lobby” are you talking about? Cyclists hate the mopeds in Riverside Park and Hudson River as much as anyone else.
London had this problem, and controversially addressed it by having the police chase and literally ram moped thieves with their cars. On one hand, that is a rather violent approach to the problem, to say the least. On the other hand… it apparently worked, and significantly reduced the number of thefts. Not advocating that here, but it’s interesting.
I say let them ram them.
Don’t want to get rammed?
Don’t use your scooter as a vehicle to commit crimes.
Otherwise, you get what you get.
No problem with ramming mopeds driven by thieves. I used to do this with bumper cars driven by friends in Coney Island and it’s lots of fun. Except that now, the good guys’ bumper cars. need to be bigger than those of the thieves.
Thanks for that Bob. There’s a London Metropolitan Police video in [this NPR article](https://www.npr.org/2018/11/27/671167996/london-police-release-video-of-officers-cars-hitting-mopeds-triggering-a-debate) which is both rather enjoyable to watch and also demonstrates that this tactic can be employed with less risk than one might first assume. It’s not ramming – it’s more like bumping. Imagine if just a few officers were trained in this tactic and then set loose on the city. I’m sure many would volunteer for the chance to actually serve justice on some bad guys. Not saying it’s risk free. But if we aren’t willing to risk anything, we might as well go back to the Wild West.
I wish nypd had the guts to do that. I’d cheer them on personally.
The problem is they would get sued, lose their jobs, and be prosecuted. What will happen, however, is that because of the recent Supreme Court ruling, civilians are going to start carrying concealed weapons and these perps will have a short run at their new robbery profession.
when you keep electing the same type of people. To enact the same policies. This is what you get. The only people with a right to complain here are those that vote Republican. If you voted for Alvin Bragg. What did you think was going to happen
I’m a Democrat, but I did NOT vote for Alvin Bragg. It was ranked choice voting and there were several Democratic choices. I voted for the candidate the police unions endorsed.: Elizabeth Crotty. If you are not sure of what you are writing about, don’t post it.
actually the DA race was not RCV. I liked Crotty myself. You get to complain. The people that voted for Bragg. Don’t
I agree about Alvin Bragg but won’t vote for a Republican who thinks Trump won the 2020 election.
Wow, glad to see you have your priorities straight. Have fun watching the city degrade further and enjoy Biden’s.
Ridiculously uninformed comment.
Do any of the commenters ever say to themselves “I voted for this”?
Didn’t think so.
So sorry that this happened to two young women. The west side had an opportunity to vote for a state senator in D47 that cared and prioritized public safety. Maybe next time.
This is classic “Broken Windows” right here folks – let’s call it Broken Sidewalks & Bike Lanes. People riding motorized vehicles on sidewalks or in bike lanes should be ticketed and,, if they don’t have plates or ID, arrested. Get them in the system. They are anti-social, dangerous law breakers. Some of them will be thieves.
Thank you for reporting on this. Unfortunately nothing will happen even if these criminals are caught. Either robbing people in this fashion is a misdemeanor and not bail eligible or if by some miracle these two can get locked up, the DA will lower the charge. After all, we are dealing with leaders in government who believe the real societal problem is punishing crime, not the crime itself and what it does to victims.
I assume these two girls never saw the movie Death Wish. On a serious note I always tell visitors never to venture into any park in the city after dark.
NYC is slowly becoming a daytime city and not a night life city.
My comment is a bit tangential to robberies committed by moped-and-scooter criminals, but perhaps close enough to warrant a comment here: today, I was about to cross West 75th and Broadway on a green light when a man on a moped/motorcycle seemed to come out of nowhere — couldn’t hear a sound — zooming down the wrong direction in front of me, two inches from my feet. If I’d hastened my step a little, I might be dead now. Why is there such rampant lawlessness in NYC, with shoplifters, muggers, and traffic scofflaws getting off scot-free? I consider myself a staunch liberal, a proponent of jail reform, but this is ridiculous. I’ve lived on the Upper West Side for almost all of my life, but other, calmer places are looking ever more desirable — so tired, frustrated, and angry over the way we live now.
Where are the police. You never see them on the UWS. Get out of the cars, split up into small patrols, stop looking and your cell phones and chatting and restore order to the City
they arrest people. but its a revolving door. And gor that you have to blame the elected officials. Really the voters
Exactly: Where are the police? I was crossing West 75th at around 6pm today and am tempted to go to the police tomorrow and ask them to identify that scary moped rider through street camera recordings, but I fear nothing will come of it. This lunatic will continue to get away with his dangerous behavior because no one in authority cares; it will take his killing a pedestrian to see justice. Horrible.
How many more excuses in these posts can be proffered. It’s time we look ourselves in the mirror and place blame where’s it’s deserved. “We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.”
Get the bloody motorized bikes, scooters, and motorcycles out of the park now and off the sidewalks of our city You can’t take a relaxing stroll anywhere. Not so urgent for the risk-oblivious, until they get assaulted, ripped off or hurt…or their mother goes down.
The police are always needed after dark. I hope the police be more visible during the holidays for safety’s sake.