July 28, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The police are looking for several suspects wanted for stealing nearly $40,000 in cash from three victims across Queens over the last two and a half months.
The alleged thefts took place during three separate incidents — between May 19 and July 6 — when the suspects followed each victim into a restaurant or a medical practice, distracted them and then deftly swiped their cash—or a bag containing cash, according to police.
The most recent theft took place in Downtown Flushing on July 6, at around 2 p.m. when three suspects – two men and a woman – targeted a 65-year-old woman who had just withdrawn cash from a local TD Bank branch and had placed it in her bag.
The suspects followed the woman into a medical office, located at 136-20 38th Ave., and watched her sit down and put her bag next to a chair, police said.
When the woman stood up to throw out trash, the suspects took $5,500 from her bag and fled the scene in an unknown direction.
The theft took place about two weeks after an incident on June 23, when a 46-year-old female victim entered a Flushing restaurant at around 4:50 p.m. inside the New World Mall, located at 136-20 Roosevelt Ave. and placed her bag under the counter.
A short time later, four suspects – three men and a woman – went into the restaurant and snatched the victim’s bag while she was distracted. They then fled the scene with the bag that contained around $14,200. It is unclear where the victim had been prior to the theft and why she was carrying such a large amount of cash.
The first incident took place in Corona on May 19 when three suspects – two men and a woman — entered a Burger King restaurant at 37-12 Junction Blvd. at around 11 a.m.
The suspects approached a woman inside the eatery and told her she had dropped money on the floor.
When the woman went to bend over to check for the money, one of the suspects swiped $20,000 cash from a bag that was beside the woman whose attention had been diverted. The bag belonged to a 54-year-old man who was in the bathroom at the time of the incident. It isn’t clear why he was carrying such a large sum of cash.
The alleged thieves then fled the restaurant southbound on Junction Boulevard, cops said.
Police on Thursday released images of the suspects wanted for questioning. The NYPD did not say how the incidents were connected. There were no injuries reported as a result of these crimes.
Anyone with information in regard to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/