Authorities are looking for a group of thieves in Manhattan who hide in the bushes and pounce on unaware bike riders as they cycle by, beating them up before stealing their bikes.
Police say they believe the same crew is behind two muggings in the last week of August.
In the first case Aug. 24, authorities say the thieves ran a rope across a bike path near Riverside Drive and W. 177th Street and pulled the line tight as a 40-year-old bicyclist from New Jersey rode over it.
The cyclist was thrown off his bicycle, and the muggers jumped him, punching him in the face and running off with his $1,500 bike. They also stole his iPhone and $500 in cash, according to police.
Five days later, police say the thieves hid in the bushes off a trail in Riverside Park and jumped a 35-year-old bicyclist, also from New Jersey, with a baseball bat as he rode by. They bashed him in the shoulder and back and stole his wallet, iPhone, backpack and Kindle Reader, along with his $1,000 bike.
The victim suffered back and shoulder injuries, but was able to run away from his attackers and find a police officer. The suspects fled.
Both cyclists were targeted after 9:30 p.m., police said. Authorities say police have stepped up patrols in the park.
Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call police.