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The New York Police Department is actively searching for a pair of robbers using mopeds as they accosted victims in Manhattan last month.

On Wednesday (January 3), representatives for the New York Police Department said that they were actively searching for two men who were riding a dark-colored moped as they robbed victims in Manhattan last December. The incidents took place on December 15 and 18.

According to their reports, the first of the incidents occurred on the 15th in the Midtown area at First Avenue and 52nd Street as the pair rode up alongside a 38-year-old woman. They snatched her purse from her forcefully, causing her to fall. The pair then sped off, according to witnesses. On the 18th, the pair set out on a longer spree of robberies over nearly three hours in Midtown starting at 7:40 P.M. as they robbed three more women between the ages of 22 and 40. The spree ended as the two attempted to rob a man in his thirties.

The news comes as similar incidents have become more frequent in the city since 2022. Last October alone, there were multiple incidents numbering over two dozen in Manhattan and in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn involving theft by robbers on mopeds and e-bikes. The prevalence of these incidents has also occupied space on the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Instagram account recently, with posts capturing the thieves atop mopeds and scooters.

Despite those instances, the city did report a 9.7% drop in robberies during November 2023 when compared to the same period the year before. There were no published statistics for December. NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell stated at the news conference held at One Police Plaza that the department had seized over 27,000 illegal ATVs and unregistered mopeds last year as part of a focus on quality of life enforcement, up from 18,000 in 2022. In response to the news, Mayor Eric Adams displayed elation. “The results are clear — crime is down, jobs are up, tourism is back,” Adams said. “But our work is not done. We’re not spiking the ball. We’re not saying, ‘Mission Accomplished.’”