Bike-Riding Thief Snatches Phone in Washington Heights, Cops Say

By Nigel Chiwaya on August 15, 2013 3:42pm 

 A bike-riding thief stole the phone from a woman at 169th and Fort Washington Avenue.
A bike-riding thief stole the phone from a woman at 169th and Fort Washington Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Nigel Chiwaya

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS—Police in Washington Heights are searching for a two-wheeled bandit that hopped off his bike just long enough to steal the cell phone from a woman near Columbia University Medical Center this week.

The victim, who officials said was not affiliated with Columbia or New York Presbyterian Hospital, was walking with her cell phone at 169th Street and Fort Washington Avenue at 12:15 a.m. on Tuesday when the suspect wheeled up from behind, jumped off his bicycle and grabbed her phone, cops said.

The suspect then hopped back onto his bike and fled south toward 165th Street, cops said.

In a security alert sent out to the Columbia Medical Center community the suspect was described as a male with short dark hair. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt.

Bike-riding cell phone thieves have been a problem around the city. Cops in Chinatown arrested 39-year-old Frank Marra and charged him with robbery after he was caught trying to steal an iPhone from a woman on July 21.

Police said that Tuesday's incident was the first in the 33rd Precinct to involve a bike this year.

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