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‘I Floored It,’ Captain Says

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‘I Floored It,’ Captain Says

Posted on September 5, 2020 at 8:46 am by Carol Tannenhauser

Capt. Neil Zuber.

By Carol Tannenhauser

On Tuesday night time, officers of the twentieth Precinct apprehended two alleged robbers who’ve been terrorizing electrical bike — e-bike — riders on the Higher West Aspect for the previous a number of weeks. Half sting, half high-speed chase, the story of their seize and arrest was advised intimately to WSR by Captain Neil Zuber (proven under at a gathering), commander of the twentieth Precinct. Right here’s how Captain Zuber described the occasions.

We had a whole lot of e-bikes being stolen, not simply right here, however throughout town. Supply individuals use them largely for delivering meals, however they’re extremely popular with others as effectively. They’re price a few thousand {dollars} every.

At first, they stole the bikes once they had been left unattended. Then, as they bought extra brazen, they started pushing individuals off the bikes, beating them up, and taking the bikes. At the least 4 of our victims had been handled within the hospital as a result of they had been injured in violent assaults.

A number of weeks in the past we began realizing a sample was growing. Victims had been speaking about two individuals leaping out of a automobile. Some had been saying a black BMW and a few had been giving us partial license plate numbers, but it surely wasn’t sufficient for our laptop system to trace.

Then, on Tuesday, September 1st, at about 2 p.m., one other individual was robbed. Two individuals jumped out of a BMW, pushed him off his bike, and took the bike. This sufferer was in a position to get his cellphone out and file one of many individuals who robbed him, however the important thing factor he did was get a transparent image of the license plate. Utilizing our license plate readers across the metropolis, we had been in a position to monitor the automobile because it went to the Bronx, over the 145th Avenue Bridge. We radioed forward, however apparently they didn’t go residence. So, we waited.

At about 10 o’clock that night time, we bought an e mail alert that the automobile had simply come throughout the bridge from the Bronx and was getting into Manhattan. We knew they had been coming to the Higher West Aspect to buy groceries. Instantly we despatched our individuals to the world the place they all the time hit us: the west facet of the precinct, close to Riverside Drive. We put everybody who was working on the market. We crammed the west facet of the precinct with eyes. We additionally advised them, in the event you see a supply individual, shadow them, as a result of they’re targets and possibly we’ll discover them that means.

Murphy’s Regulation being what it’s, that night time, for the primary time, they did a theft on the east facet of the precinct. The primary police automobile bought there about ten minutes after it occurred. I jumped into my automobile. By that point I knew we had been behind them. They had been already making their option to the bridge. So, I floored it. I put my lights on and headed north on the Henry Hudson Parkway.

I bought as much as the bridge and there was an unmarked automobile sitting there. It turned out to be two officers from the twentieth Precinct. With out exaggeration, I simply had time to place my automobile in park and switch my headlights off, when the BMW crossed immediately in entrance of us. One in all us pulled behind it, the opposite in entrance, and we stopped them proper there, 100 yards onto the bridge. They had been so shocked to see us that there was completely no battle. They surrendered proper there and we had been in a position to arrest them.

That’s not the top of the story. Captain Zuber defined that they nonetheless don’t know the place the bikes are being offered. “We all know they’re not utilizing them simply to pleasure trip,” he mentioned. “Now our investigation is taking us to who’re the people who find themselves shopping for them for resale? Who’s driving this cottage, black-market trade that’s occurring citywide?”

You can hear the joy in Captain Zuber’s voice. “I’ve to let you know,” he mentioned, “it was so good going on the market and doing the hands-on police work once more — so a lot better than sitting in on Zoom conferences,” he added, laughing. “To have that constructive consequence was nice. We may have handed it off, however we needed to be there ourselves to verify it bought finished.“

He turned to the query of an alleged “police slowdown.”

“It couldn’t be farther from the reality,” he contended. “There’s no slowdown. These officers wish to exit and do the job they signed as much as do. That is simply proving it.”


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