Nov. 2, 2023 By Bill Parry
A 19-year-old was slugged and robbed of tens of thousands of dollars after he was apparently set-up by a stranger he had arranged to meet near Queens Plaza South on Monday, Oct. 23.
Police from the 108th Precinct in Long Island City reported that the victim and his 25-year-old friend met an unidentified man in front of 42-20 24th St. at around 10:15 p.m. As the two men were talking with the stranger, two additional men turned the corner and approached them from behind. One of them punched the 19-year-old in the head before forcibly removing his backpack, which contained approximately $34,000, police said. The three assailants ran from the scene northbound on 24th Street towards Queens Plaza South.
There were no reported injuries as a result of the robbery, and detectives are trying to determine why the 19-year-old was carrying such a large amount of cash in his backpack, according to an NYPD spokeswoman.
Police released surveillance images of the three suspects on Thursday. One wore a black hooded sweatshirt with white lettering across the chest, dark pants and white sneakers. The second suspect wore a black jacket over a white hoodie, and a gray winter hat and the third man wore a red hooded sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
Through Oct. 29, the 108th Precinct has reported 219 robberies so far in 2023, 58 more than the 161 reported at the same point last year, an increase of 36%, according to the most recent CompStat report. Assaults are also on the rise in the 108th with 205 reported so far in 2023, 19 more than the 186 during the same period, an increase of 10.2%, according to CompStat.