By Carol Tannenhauser
Since January 28, four men on mopeds have pulled off 21 grand larcenies throughout Manhattan, including one last Saturday in Central Park.
At 2:45 p.m., a 34-year-old woman walking on the 86th Street transverse fell prey to a “Manhattan Grand Larceny Pattern,” described in an NYPD report as follows:
All 21 incidents…consist of the individuals riding on mopeds approaching the victim from behind and removing a pair of Apple Air Pod Max headphones off the victim’s head. No injuries have been reported. The average value of the headphones stolen is $500.
The video below shows one of the robbers looking for his next victim.
The video was obtained from Washington Square South and LaGuarda Place, where the individuals are observed on a black moped. The passenger gets off the moped holding two pairs of Apple AirPod Max headphones and enters Washington Square Park. He is described as a male with black curly hair, medium complexion, medium build, wearing a black bubble jacket and black pants. The individual operating the black moped then drives into Washington Square Park. He is described as a male with a slim build, wearing a black helmet, a black hooded jacket, black pants and tan shoes.
The four individuals wanted are described as males with medium complexions. They are riding on two mopeds, one red and one black, with two individuals per moped. The rear passenger on the moped is the one who removes the headphones, police said.
Anyone with information in regard 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 CrimeStoppers website at https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/ or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
All calls are strictly confidential.
Career criminals love our lax laws.
I’m pretty sure stealing stuff is illegal. Blame lax enforcement, not lax laws.
Your Ivy League talking points don’t intimidate me, nor does your defense of our legal system, which is in shambles. If you think these two moped riders are “first timers”, that speaks volumes.
I think the point is that the laws exist. There are plenty of laws you can charge these two with. What’s missing is the political will.
With all due respect: Bail Reform, DA Bragg.
Much more than bail reform is needed. NY state law should require all motorized bikes to be registered and insured. Where was the legislature with this one ? . They essentially enabled criminals. Brilliant , I tell you! Not only are they used criminal acts , but are also a safety issue for motorists and pedestrians alike. Wake up NYC!
Pointing out that NYC crime is rampant because of lax NY laws is incendiary and ignorant?
Well, Jen: a) NYC crime is not rampant. It is currently trending upward after hitting all-time lows but is still far, far lower than it was in previous eras; b) there is ZERO evidence that crime is trending upward because of lax NY laws! Crime levels fluctuate widely over short time frames and cannot be explained by simple factors. The best one can say is that it is ill-informed to say otherwise. I don’t know this particular commenter’s motivation, but many of the comments about crime on West Side Rag, in addition to being glaringly inaccurate, serve to stoke fear and resentment; hence my characterization as incendiary.
I appreciate if you don’t twist CardiZ’s comment. She clearly meant NY laws as we all very well know are very lax.
21 grand larcenies committed by only 4 individuals is a good indication of a career criminal.
“NY laws as we all very well know are very lax”? I don’t know that! There currently are ~50,000 people in NYS state prisons and ~25,000 people in NYS in local prisons. New York has an incarceration rate of 376 per 100,000 people (including prisons, jails, immigration detention, and juvenile justice facilities). NYS incarcerates a higher percentage of its people than almost any democracy on earth. So, despite what people write in the comments section of West Side Rag, or you state they “know,” facts indicate that NY laws are not lax.
Sounds like we need more prisons.
The same “lax” laws were on the books when crime was at its lowest, what do we one owe that to, the previous DA and the one “lax” law that was attempting to fix things? Our arguments need not be more nuanced, something to show that we are trying to wrestle with the problem. Thank you Jerry for bringing the complicity of the issue to the table.
The laxity of a law cannot be determined by the number of people in prison nor can it be determined by the number of crimes committed. It can only be determined by reading the laws at issue and making a determination about whether they are indeed lax. But the real question is how strict or lax is enforcement of the law. Enforcement has at least two important components. The first is whether NYC has the money to hire enough cops to find and arrest all of the perpetrators and the second is whether judges are lax in sentencing convicted individuals. There is also the question of whether of whether there is enough prison space, whether prosecutors have overloaded caseloads so that they need to accept plea bargains and of course whether New Yorkers want to see their taxes raised high enough to accomplish the goal of having strict standards of prosecution and sentencing.
Yes, well, many criminals do end up in jail. That’s where they belong.
It would seem even more need to end up there.
Pro tip – want to avoid jail? Don’t commit crimes.
What do you suggest should be done regarding crimes such as this? Some consequence/s must be imposed. Hopefully balanced and clear heads can turn around the level of crime everyday NY’s are facing now.
You can’t say you don’t witness a higher level of lawlessness, especially since Covid. Stand at a subway station turnstile, and start counting the people who clearly have no intention of paying their fare. The number of chain drug stores that are closing down due to the level of theft is disgraceful. The laws we currently have are not working or are not being enforced judiciously . As I see things it is not helpful to continually minimize the effect all this is having.
“What do [I]suggest should be done regarding crimes such as this?” The same thing that I suggest about all crime: it should be investigated, the alleged perpetrators should be arrested and tried, and if convicted the perpetrators should be sentenced appropriately.
As to whether I witness a higher level of lawlessness, I would say that is probably true marginally and on a relative basis–that is, perhaps it’s true compared to a few years ago (pre-pandemic), but it is nowhere near true compared to when I came of age in the 1980s.
Finally, I think the comments on West Side Rag stoke far more fear about crime in NYC than anything I see in my day-to-day life.
Enforce vehicle code & impound unlicensed motorcycles. That’s not a new law. It’s a command level directive to police officers.
A big reason why you’re seeing this level of petty crime is the lack of police action. They don’t need to stop and frisk to do this…you see a bike w/o a plate? pull it over or disable it, then call for impound. fine shops that sell these bikes w/o license or lean on state dmv for additional enforceent. none of this requires a new law.
1 – not a career, 2 – not a career, 5 – not a career… 21? I’m sure they’re just “dabbling” with the whole well-orchestrated MO going for high-value electronics off of a motor vehicle.
It’s a crime wave created by the popularity of these products. It’s like wearing a $500 cowboy hat on the streets of NYC and eliminating one of the senses we use for warning. A hat that’s fashionable, not secured on your head and has a high resale value. Yes, I’m blaming the victims AND these guys are terrible thieves. My understanding of Grand Larceny in NY is $1,000 and up.
I hope the cops catch these guys. And. Teach your children well.
Yes, they knew what they were doing by targeting the NYU area first. The students can be so deeply absorbed in their phones, they literally run into each other. I tell my teen that they wouldn’t walk around with $1000 in their hand, so don’t walk around with the $1000 phone in your hand. Same goes for headphones.
I am NOT victim blaming, but I will say the majority of these attacks are ones where the criminals can easily snatch a valuable item: a chain, a phone, headphones or an expensive bracelet. Just protect your stuff.
I saw what certainly could be a couple of these exact guys zooming around in Riverside Park & 72nd way closer to pedestrians than need be, like snatching distance, 12-20 inches at dusk. By chance, a Park Cop in a cruiser came by minutes later. He told me he has no authority unless they are inside the park clearly committing a crime and went on his merry way, clearly exasperated w me. Probably thought some old crank instead of a street-smart guy who knows what he is looking at. . That night or the next night 2 women were sexually assaulted & robbed by guys matching the photos here pretty just inside the entrance of the park about 50 yards from where I spoke to the cop. Incident was reported in a cpl of the W Side blogs. Fact of life now, they can get away with almost anything as long as they don’t do it every day. 21 grand larcenies means at least twice that unreported plus probably as many more under $1k or unsuccessful = about 100 robberies (or attempted). We know for sure most of these don’t get reported, what’s the point, cops don’t want their statistics gong up and make it as hard as they can. That’s what it takes for authorities to care. 100 incidents. You are on your own. That’s the most important take away here.
I’m sort of surprised we’re just now hearing about this. I have those headphones, and have often thought they are an easy target. I heard this news story this morning before I went out to the park. I took a pretty cotton fashion scarf off my rack, pulled it over the headphones so they don’t show. And tied in in a bow back of my neck. It reduces visibility, kind of keeps them securely on my head, but not so tightly that I would be injured if someone pulled them off. Just kind of common sense, but at $500 a pop…
“Relying on NYPD figures, Adams said the share of people arrested for burglary who went on to be arrested for another felony within 60 days rose from 7.7 percent in 2017 to 25.1 percent in 2022.” “Felony rearrests for defendants accused of grand larceny similarly rose for that period, from 6.5 percent to 16.8 percent” “Before bail reform laws took effect in 2020, judges had discretion to set bail for those crimes. Now, they cannot except for first-degree grand larceny.”
It’s tough to explain the concept of causation vs. correlation to those who don’t want to get it–one has to differentiate between facts and unsubstantiated claims, among other things.
For example, NYS is not the first to enact bail reform. The legislation that went into effect here in NYS in 2020 had already been implemented in various jurisdictions across the country over a many year period. And guess what? There is no evidence that bail reform led to increased crime in these jurisdictions.
Then, following the pandemic, crime has risen across the U.S.–in red states and blue states, and in places that have not enacted bail reform.
Finally, it simply isn’t possible to ascribe fluctuations in crime rates–especially over short time frames–to any one thing. Our country’s most prominent criminologists and best-qualified experts are challenged to agree on explanations even when studying long-term trends, which are considered far more reliable, and they certainly don’t weigh in on one month or even one year’s statistics!
From the very article to which you provided a link:
“According to figures published by the New York State Unified Court System, people released without bail reoffend at similar rates to those who are assigned bail and pay it, suggesting bail is not a deterrent.
“On average, the rate is a little under 20 percent over the last two years, the data shows. Since 2020, an average of 9.6 percent of people arraigned for a crime statewide were rearrested and arraigned on a misdemeanor. Seven percent went on to be charged with a subsequent nonviolent felony, and 2.8 percent were rearrested and arraigned on a violent felony, according to state court figures.
“In New York City, the stats were similar: On average over the last two years, 19.2 percent were arrested again — 8 percent for a misdemeanor, 7.8 percent for a non-violent felony and 3.4 percent for a violent felony.
“Rearrests are also dropping — 23 percent of defendants arrested statewide in 2020 were rearrested on another charge. Last year, that figure dropped to 19.5 percent.
“The state only began tracking repeat arrest data when bail reform took effect, making it impossible to make comparisons with the time before the overhaul.”
“ It’s tough to explain the concept of causation vs. correlation to those who don’t want to get it–one has to differentiate between facts and unsubstantiated claims, among other things.”
I think most of us are familiar with the concept and draw our conclusions from there. They might be different than yours though.
None of these scooters are mopeds as they don’t have pedals hence the ped part of the word. They zoom past cops, no license plates right through red lights. Police do NOTHING. Shame on everyone
SO SAD I AM AFRAID TO WEAR JEWLRY ITS A ACCOMPLISHMENTS IF YOU MAKEIT HOME THESE DAYS walk with your mace. Pepper spray and stun gun..
Isn’t it time for the state to require registration of ALL motorized vehicles, regardless of power plant size? A far-from-perfect solution, but it could facilitate identifcation,