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Robbery spree at Bronx Park East train station in Van Nest

Rash of robberies at Bronx Park East station

Bronx Times

A group of brazen thieves has locals looking over their shoulder at a local neighborhood train hub.

Police at the 49th Precinct and Transit District 12 are searching for a trio of robbers who have attacked and stolen property from four victims around the Bronx Park East No.2/5 subway station.

The robbery pattern first began at the beginning of May, said police. The last reported robbery occurred in the final week of May.

Sneak attack plot

One robber follows the victim before grabbing them from behind, while the others make off with the person’s property, 49th Precinct Commanding Officer Tim McCormack said at a May 27 precinct community council meeting.

Thieves have stolen cash, credit cards, even ripping jewelry off of some victims, said police.

Cops are now offering a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the three-man hit team.

Physical description of the thieves is scant, since the crimes take place so quickly.

Three mystery men

The only characteristics so far identified by police are that two of the thieves are slim black teenagers around six feet tall, while their partner is a teenage Hispanic also around six feet tall.

The muggers have hit both during the early morning commute and during in the middle of the day. They grabbed one victim on the stairs, another on the train platform and yet another on the sidewalk in front of the train station, said police.

A fourth, similar robbery took place on the street near the station, said McCormack.

Police are urging travelers to keep their eyes peeled and to avoid using cell phones, mp3 players and tablets while entering the train station or waiting for the train. Cops also sent out a notice warning travelers not to “display jewelry in public.”

Locals with any information on the robbery pattern should call 1-800-577-TIPS.

Smaller crime spike

Despite occasional blips, the 49th Precinct has boasted some of the city’s lowest statistics for violent crime over the past few years.

But it has seen a small spike in lesser crimes this year.

Both burglaries and grand larcenies were up in April and May from over the same period in 2013, according to the precinct’s own Compstat statistics.

Most of the burglaries are home break-ins, while the majority of the grand larcenies – thefts of items worth more than $1000 – are occuring in car break-ins throughout the precinct.

Captain McCormack is warning locals to lock their doors, since thieves usually take the path of least resistance.

“As the weather gets warm, we have to make sure that we secure our premises,” he said at the May 27 meeting. “They’re coming through your unlocked front door, they’re coming through your window, they’re coming through your vent, and they’re taking cash and jewelry.”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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