LOWER EAST SIDE — A Citi Bike-riding robber has been targeting Asian men and women in the Two Bridges area over the past month, police said.
Police believe a man in his mid-20s, who rode a Citi Bike in at least one of the incidents, is behind a trio of robberies in recent weeks, said Capt. Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct.
The robber last struck Dec. 26, when he snatched a cellphone from a 50-year-old Asian man while riding a Citi Bike at Canal and Rutgers streets at about 12:30 p.m., Hellman said.
About an hour-and-a-half earlier, the robber wrested a cellphone from a 30-year-old Asian woman around Henry and Rutgers streets, the captain added.
Hellman said the suspect also attempted to snatch a 77-year-old Asian woman’s pocketbook in front of 275 Cherry St. while riding a bike on Dec. 9.
“Luckily none of them received any major injuries, but it’s very concerning,” he said.
The robbery pattern is one of the two in the precinct to emerge in the past month, Hellman added. Police are also hunting for another suspect who has been targeting women on their way home.
He encouraged residents to be attentive and aware of their surroundings.
“If you’re on your cellphone, look around," Hellman said. "Don’t have your head buried in the phone."
Anyone with information about the robberies is encouraged to contact the precinct or call 911, he said.