Last night, three young Jewish men were robbed at gunpoint in consecutive incidents in three separate locations in Crown Heights. All three incidents are believed to have been perpetrated by the same African-American teenager.
Late Wednesday night, at around 1:20am, Shomrim received a call from a young Jewish man who was mugged on Empire Blvd. between Albany and Troy Aves. The perpetrator was described as an African-American male between the ages of 16-20, wearing a black t-shirt and riding a bicycle.
The teen flashed a silver gun at the victim and demanded his valuables. The man handed over his phone and cash, and the perp fled on his bike towards Troy Ave.
A few minutes later, the victim managed to flag down a passerby, who readily lent him his phone so that he can call the police and Shomrim.
When police arrived at the scene, they had in their cruiser another victim who was mugged just a few minutes prior on Kingston Ave. between Lefferts and East New York Aves. This victim, also a young Jewish man, managed to slip inside his apartment building and lock the front door between himself and the mugger before he managed to steal any of his valuables.
While police interviewed the two victims, Shomrim volunteers canvassed the area in search of the perpetrator. Unfortunately, they were unable to find anyone matching his description. They then went down to the precinct to assist the victims in filing criminal reports.
Sources have informed CrownHeights.info that there was a third mugging that night as well, which occurred near the corner of Brooklyn and Lefferts Avenues. It is unclear if the victim in that incident filed a police report.
A Shomrim volunteer who responded to the incidents told CrownHeights.info that efforts to track the thief through the stolen phone’s GPS system were unsuccessful, because there was no anti-theft program installed to enable it. He urged members of the community to install programs such as ‘Find My iPhone’ and ‘Prey,’ so that in the event of a theft the perpetrator can be tracked down by police.
The volunteer also mentioned that the Kingston Ave. victim actually noticed that he was being followed by the perpetrator for a half a block before the mugging occurred. He said that community members should not hesitate to call Shomrim and keep them on the other end of the line if they feel uncomfortable while walking on the street due to suspicious activity. “Don’t worry about potentially wasting Shomrim members’ time,” he said, “this is what we’re here for.”