What to Know
Police are asking the public’s help in locating a trio wanted in connection to over 30 alleged robberies targeting NYC rideshare drivers
Police say the incidents happened between April 3 and June 3
Authorities urge anyone with information to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA
Police are asking the public’s help in locating a trio wanted in connection to over 30 alleged robberies targeting rideshare drivers in New York City in the span of two months.
Police say that between April 3 and June 3 the group of men requested taxis through different rideshare services 33 times in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, but when they got inside the taxis they told the drivers that they wished to change destinations but that their phones were not working.
Allegedly, the group then requested to use the taxi drivers' phones to input the new destinations. Police say it was at this point, while in possession of the drivers' phones, that they accessed the drivers' accounts and conducted unauthorized funds transfers out of the drivers' accounts to unknown accounts.
Additionally, in several incidents, the individuals stole the drivers' phones, police say.
Police identify the three individuals sought as being men between 16 to 25 years old. One of them was last seen wearing a black baseball hat, multicolored hooded sweatshirt and light blue jeans, police say. The second individual sought was last seen wearing a backwards black baseball hat and a black hooded sweatshirt, while the third was last seen wearing a black du-rag, black sweatshirt and headphones, police say.
Surveillance video released by the NYPD show two of the suspects before the alleged 32nd incident which occurred in the area of 39th Avenue and 30th Street in Queens.
Authorities urge anyone with information to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA. Tips can also be sent via www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
In a statement to NBC 4 New York, the rideshare company Lyft said: "Safety is fundamental to Lyft and this is deeply concerning. Upon becoming aware of these incidents, we deactivated the passengers and reached out to the affected drivers to express our support. We have sent reminders to all New York City drivers about this issue and are in touch with law enforcement to assist with their investigation."
NBC 4 also reached out to Uber for comment.