Bronx cops looking for suspects of 13 violent robberies in Claremont Park

NYPD Neighborhood Safety Teams officers wear black uniforms with white lettering and drive unmarked cars. They are responsible for engaging with residents in an effort to combat gun violence. Photo Dean Moses
File photo Dean Moses

Bronx detectives are looking for multiple suspects who got away with thousands of dollars worth of personal property in an ongoing robbery pattern dating back to January.

In 13 separate robberies between Jan. 11 and May 11, police reported a group of men and teenagers — some armed with guns and knives — robbed male and female park visitors of all ages at Claremont Park and the surrounding area during various times of the day.

Five suspects kicked off the crime spree within the confines of the 44th Precinct on Jan. 11 at approximately 3:45 p.m. inside the park near Weeks Avenue and Mount Eden Parkway. The group of perps ambushed two boys, ages 15 and 16, from behind, with one suspect punching the older victim in the face, police said.

Police said the group ordered the victims to sit on a bench and hand over their personal property, getting away with their cell phones, Airpods and $10 in cash. After collecting their loot, the robbers fled the scene on foot, traveling southbound toward Morris Avenue.

Later that month, at about 6 p.m. on Jan. 24, one of the perps pushed a 15-year-old male while he was walking into the park from Clay Avenue and East 170th Street, police said.

Things turned ugly when the perp punched the victim in the face, placed him in a chokehold and began rifling through his pockets, police said, snatching an iPhone 14 Plus and an Apple watch.

In another turn, the suspect then held a knife to the victim’s throat as he demanded the boy log out of his phone, according to police, before fleeing on foot eastbound in the park toward East 170th Street.

The robbers orchestrated similar robberies in the park throughout February and March.

In one of those incidents, on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 at approximately 6:20 p.m., a 15-year-old boy was walking through a park tunnel when three suspects rolled toward him on Citi Bikes, simulated a firearm and demanded his property, law enforcement sources said.

They violently pushed the young victim to the ground, according to police, and proceeded to stomp on him with their feet. After the attack, the perps got away with the victim’s iPhone 14 and purple North Face jacket before jumping back on the bikes and pedaling away.

Cops were able to track down and arrest two of the suspects involved in the incident, including a 14-year-old male, whose name is being withheld due to his age, and 18-year-old Sincere Johnson of 2414 Belmont Ave. in the Bronx.

Later in the month, at 12:45 a.m. on March 31, five perps approached a 17-year-old victim sitting on a bench near Teller Avenue and East 172nd Street inside the park when one of them threatened him with a gun, while others searched his body for property, police said, adding that three of the suspects then struck the victim with an open hand to the face. They snatched $100 from the victim’s hand before fleeing east inside the park toward Clay Avenue, official sources said.

Cops were nearby when the perps hit the park again on April 15 at approximately 11:28 a.m. A 58-year-old man was sitting on a bench near Topping and East Mount Eden Avenues when the five robbers, donning black ski masks, surrounded him, police said, adding that one suspect put the victim in a chokehold and placed a knife to his throat.

But while the violent crime ensued, police interrupted and were able to collar one of the perps, a 13-year-old male, while the others got away.

Police were also able to track down and arrest a 17-year-old suspect in connection with the most recent robbery, which occurred on May 11 at approximately 1:07 a.m. A 17-year-old girl was walking in the vicinity of College Avenue and East 171st Street when four men ambushed her, grabbed her cellphone and then told her to leave the scene or they would shoot her, law enforcement officials said.

Police reported that injuries including pain and bruising to the face resulted from two of these incidents. Cops arrested four of the perpetrators involved in the spree and also released photos of two suspects still at large. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding any of these incidents can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at, or on X (formerly Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

This story was originally published by our affiliate AMNewYorkMetro.

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