BY THE VILLAGE SUN | “Who watches the watchmen?”
Police say a crew of crooks has been coming up to young men on the Lower East Side and offering to sell them drugs. But the marks end up losers, as the thieves relieve them of their watches.
A police spokesperson said it doesn’t look like any drug deals had been prearranged with the victims and that they did not know the thieves.
In each of the four reported incidents, the police report refers to “narcotics,” which can include marijuana.
“It looks like they just approach random people on the street, and offer to sell them weed or something like that,” the spokesperson said.
He did not have information at hand on the brands or value of the stolen watches, but one would assume they were high-end.
There were no injuries reported.
In the first incident, on Sat., July 16, around 2:30 a.m., a group of individuals approached a 19-year-old man near 85 Orchard St. and offered to sell him drugs. They then forcibly removed a watch from him.
The pattern repeated with the same M.O. on Fri., July 22, around 1:40 a.m., when a 31-year-old was fleeced of his watch at Rivington and Allen Streets.
On Sat., July 30, around 1:15 a.m., the “watchmen” struck again, offering drugs to a 21-year-old man near 159 Ludlow St., then snatching his watch.
Fifteen minutes later that same night, they targeted a 28-year-old guy near 136 Allen St., again saying they could sell him drugs, then swiped his watch.
Police provided a surveillance-camera image of one of the alleged suspects. He was seen wearing a light-blue baseball cap, light-blue jeans, a white T-shirt and white sneakers.
Police ask that anyone with information call the N.Y.P.D.’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted on the Crime Stoppers Web site at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or on Twitter at @NYPDTips. Tips can result in cash rewards. All tips are strictly confidential.