Police in Manhattan are looking for a robbery crew targeting newsstand and food truck operators around the borough.
Four suspects are responsible for nine heists in the first 11 days of the new year, law enforcement sources said. In each case, the crooks targeted workers at newsstands or food trucks in Midtown, the Financial District and the Upper East Side — physically assaulted them or threatened them with a knife, and stole cash or personal property.
Authorities said the first robbery occurred on New Year’s Day, when three individuals hit a newsstand in front of 1717 Broadway in Midtown at about 7:10 p.m. on Jan. 1. There, they accosted a 70-year-old man operating the newsstand — pushing him to the ground and forcibly removing $750 in cash. The suspects then took off on foot northbound along Broadway.
The next day, police reported, three bandits robbed a 27-year-old woman working a newsstand in front of 936 3rd Ave. on the Upper East Side at about 4:25 p.m. on Jan. 2. The crooks shoved her to the ground, then forcibly removed her cellphone and took off on foot.
Nearly two hours later, NYPD sources said, the same crooks traveled to Midtown and robbed a 59-year-old man operating a newsstand at the southeast corner of Broadway and West 58th Street at about 6:07 p.m. Jan. 2. This time, police noted, the perpetrators displayed a knife and menaced the worker, then removed $250 from the cash register. After the caper, the suspects took off on foot westbound along West 58th Street.
Law enforcement sources said two crew members struck again three days later, when they robbed a 40-year-old woman working at a food truck in front of 1524 2nd Ave. on the Upper East Side at about 8:35 p.m. Jan. 5. The suspects pushed her to the ground, then removed $200 in cash along with her headphones, a debit card and purse. The suspects then fled on foot.
Two nights later, police reported, two crooks hit a concession stand located at the corner of Broadway and West 54th Street in Midtown at about 6:40 p.m. on Jan. 7. The suspects approached a 53-year-old man operating the stand, then held him back while forcibly removing $5,000 in cash from the register — making this the most lucrative caper in the pattern.
Following the robbery, the suspects fled southbound along Broadway. Police said the worker suffered minor injuries, and was treated at Mount Sinai West Hospital.
Police said the crew struck for the sixth time at about 7 p.m. on Jan. 9, when two members held up a 58-year-old man running a newsstand in front of 1628 Broadway in Midtown. The suspects removed $70 from the cash register before fleeing northbound on Broadway. The worker suffered minor injuries during the incident, but refused medical attention.
The last three robberies occurred on Jan. 11, two of which occurred in the Financial District.
In the first incident, police reported, three crew members approached a 50-year-old man working a newsstand at the southeast corner of Rector Street and Trinity Place at about 4:12 p.m. on Jan. 11. They pushed him, then removed $3,200 in cash from both the register and the victim’s pockets. Following the attack, they fled on foot southbound along Trinity Place.
More than two hours later, the thieves struck again, targeting a 45-year-old man operating a newsstand in front of 100 Church St. at about 6:40 p.m. on Jan. 11. In this instance, authorities said, they displayed a knife while removing $2,800 from the register. The perpetrators then fled eastbound along Park Place.
Police said the worker suffered minor injuries during the holdup, and was treated at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.
Finally, the three crew members went back up to Midtown and robbed a 31-year-old man working a newsstand in front of 1410 Broadway at about 7:10 p.m. on Jan. 11. One of the suspects punched the victim in the face, then removed $3,000 in cash from the register. The suspects then took off northbound on Broadway. Police said the victim suffered minor injuries, but refused medical attention.
On Jan. 13, the NYPD released several images of the robbery crew, and described the members as follows:
Suspect 1: A man with a light complexion who wore a dark-colored jacket and black sneakers.
Suspect 2: A man with a dark complexion who wore a black mask, a black hooded sweatshirt, a black vest, black pants and black-and-white sneakers.
Suspect 3: A man with a dark complexion who wore a black mask, a black hooded sweatshirt, a black jacket, black pants and black sneakers.
Suspect 4: A man with a dark complexion who wore a black hooded sweatshirt, a black jacket, gray sweatpants and black sneakers.
Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.