MANHATTAN — Two men have been arrested while four more are still on the loose after a string of thefts targeting employees and customers of businesses across the Upper East and Upper West sides, the NYPD said.
Between March 30 and July 25, the group entered seven restaurants and shops with the intention of stealing purses and wallets, police said.
The group got away with $940 in cash and a number of credit cards from unsuspecting customers not watching their bags, as well as employees who placed their belongings in what they thought were safe places, the NYPD said.
Video released Tuesday night shows five men stealing a purse off a chair inside one of the restaurants May 30.
The targeted businesses were the Shalel Lounge on West 70th Street; the Daisy Diner and San Matteo Pizza on Second Avenue; City Brows on Broadway; the Silver Star Diner on Second Avenue; Le Botaniste on Lexington Avenue; and The Seamstress on East 75th Street.
Police in plainclothes caught two of the men running out of The Seamstress Bar at 335 E. 75th with a woman's backpack just before midnight July 24, police said. One of the men, Jermaine Drummond, 21, broke down the front door of the establishment while trying to escape. Both he and Charles Ross, 19, were arrested while the third man ran off, police said.
Both men were charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, and Drummond was also charged with criminal mischief for breaking the door, police said.
At their arraignments Monday, Ross was released without bail and Drummond was given supervised release, according to court records. Their attorneys did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday.
The four suspects who haven't been arrested were described as wearing baseball caps, T-shirts, jeans and shorts.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).