As if New Yorkers did not already have issues to worry about such as high prices, overly-populated areas, and liberal laws, they now have one more unnecessary concern: bike theft. Not the act of one’s bike being stolen while parked, but from right underneath them while riding.
The series of attacks have reportedly singled out food delivery drivers working on ‘e-bikes,’ or bicycles with a motor.
The juveniles have carried out the attacks by first attacking riders by kicking or punching them, knocking them over, robbing them of whatever cash on them, and then riding away with their victim’s e-bike.
According to the New York City Police Department, the series of crimes began on September 14, with the last reported attack occurring on September 30. The incidents were all said to have occurred between 7 p.m. and midnight.
Of the group, there are four males and one female, with authorities estimating them to be between ages 15 and 19 and behind all eight of the recent attacks.
One victim, 35, was shoved to the ground before having his bike stolen.
The delivery rider who suffered the assault on East 115th Street was said to have been “robbed of $40,” while the victim on Third Avenue and East 88th Street “was robbed of his wallet.”
While one of the biking victims did suffer a cut, none were, fortunately, injured further.
Police have little to go on thus far other than a lead that the thieves have been attacking in the same area, “between 123rd and 88th street on both east and west sides,” as well as a photo taken of them in an elevator a Whole Foods market (see screenshots below).
NYPD has warned those in the area to be cautious of the young group of criminals but has not indicated them being armed or highly dangerous.
Yet they could be even with their own strength given the five of them ganging up on individual riders.
Unfortunately, New Yorkers are admittedly more likely to face this type of crime considering that strict gun laws make it different for even the law-abiding citizen to obtain a carry permit.
With this being common knowledge, young thugs could admittedly be tempted by the idea, knowing that are more likely to encounter an unarmed person than an armed one.
The teens could also be targeting food delivery workers specifically, knowing that they are in a hurry to reach their destinations, may be weighed down or otherwise distracted by carrying food, and are likely to have cash on hand.
In any case, the thieves must be caught and held accountable, and authorities have requested the public’s help.
Police have requested the public to be on alert and to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline by calling (800) 577-TIPS (8477), texting tips to CRIMES (274637) and “then enter[ing] TIP577,” or by visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.org.
Of course, the series of attacks have caused locals to worry for their safety, even if they do not travel via bicycle.
One woman, Maria Santos, expressed shock that such a series of crimes was occurring so close to her residence. When asked why, she explained, “Because the neighborhood is good. I don’t know why.”
More importantly, it could happen anywhere.
Yet it is admittedly interesting that the common denominator in the recent string of crimes is that they all involve an electronic bike.
This could be due to the fact that such transportation methods are costly, ranging from “2,500 to $5,000.” Unlike a car which protects the driver from being robbed while driving it, such a bike does not protect riders against a strong person or group of people.
Also notable is that they are lighter and potentially easier to transport than perhaps a motorcycle and can be ridden where bikes are permitted.
Unfortunately, the crimes being committed by the group of teens is undeniably reflective of their character and possible upbringing in liberal NYC.
Citizens should not have to worry about juvenile delinquents harming or stealing from them while attempting to go about their daily lives, and the NYPD surely has more important matters to deal with than stolen bicycles and petty theft.
Thankfully, with the public also helping to catch the group of thieves, they will be caught soon and put to justice.