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Cops in four different Queens precincts are searching for crook targeting bus riders in string of robberies

Sep. 26, 2023 By Bill Parry

The NYPD is searching for a masked man who has been targeting MTA bus riders in a series of robberies in the last month, primarily in the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park.

The suspect began his robbery spree in the confines of the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 23, when he snatched a cellphone off a 15-year-old boy who was on board a Q52 bus as it approached the intersection on Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, before running off the bus in an unknown direction, according to authorities.

The unidentified man struck two days later in the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst, when he approached a 52-year-old woman as she was riding a Q53 bus on the evening of Friday, Aug. 25, in the vicinity of Hoffman Drive and Queens Boulevard. The crook took her wallet containing her credit cards and ID before running off the bus, police said.

On the evening of Friday, Sept. 1, the suspect struck for the first time in the confines of the 106th Precinct. This time, he worked with a partner in crime who blocked a 68-year-old woman as she was trying to get off a bus in the vicinity of Liberty Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard and the man picked her pocket before running off with her wallet that contained credit cards, according to law enforcement sources.

The suspect struck two days later in the 104th Precinct on board a Q53 bus near the intersection of Cooper Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, when he took around $300 in cash and insurance cards from the unwatched bag belonging to a 35-year-old woman before running off the bus, police said.

The suspect returned to the 106th Precinct during the morning of Friday, Sept. 8. He was riding on a Q53 bus on Cross Bay Boulevard near the intersection of Liberty Avenue when he approached a woman and cut her bag before removing $300 in cash and her bank cards, according to authorities. He ran off the bus in an unknown direction.

Later that day, he was back in the 102nd Precinct riding a Q53 bus when he snuck up behind a 57-year-old woman and rifled through her backpack and removed $100 in cash and her cellphone before running off the bus, police said.

He struck again on a Q53 bus on the morning of Monday, Sept. 11, when the bus approached Woodhaven Boulevard and 91st Avenue in Woodhaven. He reached into a bag belonging to a 28-year-old woman and took two cellphones, according to law enforcement sources.

Three days later, he was back in the 106th Precinct and on board a bus near the intersection of 116th Street and Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park at around 6:40 p.m., when he picked the jacket pocket of a 42-year-old woman and ran off the bus with her cellphone and credit cards, police said.

He was back in the 106th Precinct on the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 20, when he came up on a 50-year-old woman as she was riding a Q7 bus near Rockaway Boulevard and 132nd Street in South Ozone Park. The crook removed her wallet containing approximately $530 in cash and credit cards from her backpack, police said.

The NYPD released surveillance images of the suspect on Sept. 26. He has a “medium” complexion with closely cropped hair, according to the NYPD. He was wearing a blue facemask.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

In all, investigators have determined the suspect was involved in nine grand larcenies across Queens, with four of them occurring in the 106th Precinct, which so far in 2023 has reported 464 grand larceny cases, 24 fewer that the 488 cases reported at the same point last year, a decline of 4.9%, according to the most recent CompStat report.

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