Slightly tipsy pub-crawlers and late-night subway commuters are being increasingly targeted in Williamsburg’s 90th Precinct, officers at the Union Avenue stationhouse told The Brooklyn Paper.
Last week saw a rash of muggings and robberies throughout the precinct — 14 in the seven-day period, up from seven during the same week last year. Many of the muggings occurred in the hip areas around Meserole Street and Montrose Avenue, and the intersection of Lorimer Street and Broadway, said 90th Precinct commander, Deputy Inspector John Corbisiero.
“They’re trying to rob people who are intoxicated, frankly,” said Corbisiero, who advised club-hoppers to walk together and not flash cash or cellphones. “They come up from behind and hit them.”
One of the robberies was at the aforementioned corner of Broadway and Lorimer Street on Aug. 27. The 21-year-old victim told cops that he was walking at around midnight when two men — one black, one Hispanic — attacked him from behind.
One of the perps put him in a chokehold while the other punched him in the face. The Hispanic man ordered him to empty his pockets, which held only $7.
In another beating and robbery, a 24-year-old man told cops that he was walking home from a bar on Maujer Street between Leonard Street and Manhattan Avenue on Aug. 28 at 5:30 am when he, too, was approached from behind.
One man put him in a chokehold while another punched him in the face. “Don’t f— with us. We are taking your money.”
They got away with $60 and a Razr cellphone.
A few days later, on Sept. 1, a woman entering the M train at Marcy Avenue was surrounded by two thugs at around 10 pm. The perps grabbed the 33-year-old victim’s cellphone — but were detained by witnesses, cops said.
When police arrived, the men were arrested and charged with robbery.
Quick response, Corbisiero said, is the key to stopping these kinds of crimes.
“It’s very important to call 911 immediately, so we can canvas the area before the trail runs cold,” he said. “Also, if someone steals your cellphone, do not cancel the service. That way, we can track the thief. You have no idea how many times a guy steals a cellphone and then uses it immediately. We can track that.”
Corbisiero said that he has rearranged his officers so that there are more cops on the streets on the midnight–8 am tour. The trouble is, many people don’t want cops to see them.
“We urge people to walk on streets when they see officers — for their own safety,” Corbisiero said. The officers, he added, are not on patrol to arrest intoxicated people, but to arrest the thieves who prey on them.