Tag Archives: iphone theft

Tech thieves targeting iPhones on subway


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by David Beltran

Residents of Astoria refuse to be frightened by fleeing thieves aiming to filch their phones.

Police say nine iPhones have been stolen along the “N” and “R” train lines since late December, with the most recent incident occurring on February 8. Five of the thefts have occurred in Astoria – three at the 36th Avenue station and two at the neighboring stop on 39th Avenue. Young women were victims in eight of the nine cases, police said.

The NYPD currently has descriptions of three of the suspects involved in the thefts – all black males in their 20s, roughly 6 feet tall and approximately 200 pounds.

A number of residents admitted they were unaware of the trend in their neighborhood, but were not nervous about losing their phones to the bandits.

“I heard that was going on in the city and other places but not here,” said Leticia Huero, a 20-year-old iPhone owner who uses the 36th Avenue station daily. “I’m not really worried about it though – you just have to be careful. I’m not going to be any more vigilant because people should already be vigilant. I might use it a little less now while I’m on the train, but I’ll probably end up still using it after a while.”

Others view the crimes as inevitable, considering the volume of phones out in the open at any given time.

“Yeah, I can see how that happens. People are on their phones all the time and they don’t notice who’s around them,” said Mujammil Ali, 22, who visits the 36th Avenue station twice a day. “People just need to be more careful. They buy these expensive phones but they don’t watch out for thieves.”

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., who represents Astoria and is the chair of the Public Safety Committee, says many of the incidents occur above ground, prior to the train leaving the stations – when thieves snatch a phone and dash out seconds before the doors close.

According to Vallone, the police have responded to the recent rash in iPhone thefts by increasing their subway presence and instituting sting operations designed to nab phone snatchers.

Officers of the 114th Precinct have advised riders to use their phones sparingly, and to hide them whenever they do.

“If you have electronic devices while you are in transit, try not to have them visible. Be aware of your surroundings,” said an officer of the 114th Precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit. “Unfortunately, when you are using an iPhone or iPod, you tend to pay attention to that instead of what’s going on around you, which increases the chances of you becoming a victim. Perpetrators prey on people who aren’t paying attention.”

Additional reporting by David Beltran

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting

An 8-year-old boy was checking out a rack of potato chips inside a Bronx bodega just before taking a bullet in his shoulder, a shocking surveillance video shows. The stunned tyke in a gray track suit, who sources identified as Armando Bigo, can be seen gripping his left shoulder immediately after being shot inside Papa Yali’s Deli in Soundview. Sources said two other people inside the bodega may have been the intended targets of a bike-riding gunman who fired into the small Randall Avenue storefront around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. The boy was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with a non life-threatening gunshot wound. Read More: New York Post

Long Island woman one of two Western journalists killed in Syria shelling

Two Western journalists were killed Wednesday in the flashpoint city of Homs after Syrian security forces shelled the building where they were staying. UK foreign secretary William Hague confirmed that the journalists were Marie Colvin from Long Island, a veteran war correspondent for The (London) Sunday Times, and French freelance photographer Remi Ochlik. Read More: New York Post

 

Whitney had drug cocktail

Whitney Houston had a deadly mixture of Valium, Xanax and alcohol in her system when her life was cut short at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammys, according to a report yesterday. Although the coroner is awaiting final toxicology results to determine which one of the three played the largest role in her death, the preliminary results almost certainly rule out that Houston drowned, although she was found partially submerged in a bathtub. Read More: New York Post

 

Man, 81, pushed to tracks in iPhone theft

An 81-year-old man was shoved onto the tracks at a Brooklyn elevated subway station after he chased a teen who stole his iPhone, authorities said yesterday. The victim was waiting for a J train at the Lorimer Street station in Williamsburg at about 11:45 a.m. Friday when a young punk grabbed his smartphone and took off, cops said. When the man started running after him, his accomplice shoved him onto the tracks, cops said. The victim was pulled from the roadbed and was in stable condition at Woodhull Hospital. Read More: New York Post

Providing Yankees peace of mind is part of Rivera’s legend

If this were just about replacing a closer — even a legendary closer — then the Yankees would have a difficult, yet plausible, job ahead. But if this really is Mariano Rivera’s last season, then the Yankees are on the clock toward something much more difficult: Replacing a feeling. It is not that Rivera avoided all failure. Heck, he blew Game 7 of the World Series. But, even when that ended the 2001 season, no one with the Yankees fretted for one second how that would impact 2002. Rivera would not be cowed and the internal clubhouse confidence in him would not waver. Ever. Read More: New York Post
 

Cardinal Dolan Makes Ash Wednesday Rounds

Cardinal Timothy Dolan hit the ground running this morning, for the start of the Lenten season. Just back from Rome, Dolan arrived at St. Francis of Assisi Church this morning where he handed out food to the homeless. A crowd of well-wishers was on hand to greet him as he started his busy day and to congratulate him on his elevation to the College of Cardinals. Dolan thanked everyone for their support and also addressed the importance of today. Read More: NY1

 

Police: Bicyclist Fired Shot That Hit Boy Inside Bronx Deli

An eight-year-old boy is recovering after being shot in the arm at a Bronx deli on Tuesday. Police say the child was inside Papa Yala’s Deli on Randall Avenue in Soundview when shots were fired from a man riding on a bicycle just before 8 p.m. Investigators say a bullet grazed the boy on his left shoulder. He was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition. Residents said they were concerned for their children. Read More: NY1

 

Bronx Substitute Teacher Charged With Forcibly Touching Student

A city school employee was under arrest Tuesday, as one of the Chukwuma Duru, 27, a substitute teacher at Bronx Career and College Prep High School in Morrisania, was charged with forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. The Department of Education says the incident happened at the school on February 9 and involved a student there. Education officials also say the alleged incident does not appear sexual, but Duru has been removed from the school. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Rape Suspect Caught On Surveillance Video

Police are on the hunt for a man who they say tried to rape a woman in Queens this past weekend. Officials say the man, who was seen on surveillance video, grabbed a 25-year-old woman from behind Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. in Ridgewood. They say he then pushed her to the ground and tried to rape her, but snatched her purse and ran off when the woman began screaming for help. Read More: NY1