Teen busted for snatching phones in Gramercy

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a teenager for multiple phone snatchings last Wednesday just before 5 p.m. The teen snatched a man’s cell phone on East 19th Street and fled, then grabbed a woman’s cell phone on East 18th Street, shortly after which he was grabbed by witnesses and detained until police arrived.

One of the victims said he was standing in front of ABC Cocina at 38 East 19th Street about to make a call on his phone when a black man who was about 5’11” with dark hair, a white tank top, dark shorts and a black backpack snatched his phone from his hand and ran east on East 19th Street toward Park Avenue South.

The second victim said that she was walking on East 18th Street toward Second Avenue with her headphones on and her cell phone in her hand. When she was in front of 220 East 18th Street, she felt someone come up behind her on her left side and snatch her phone out of her hand. The suspect then ran east on East 18th Street. The victim said that she yelled for help and two witnesses spotted the teen and started chasing him. They managed to stop the suspect in front of 305 Second Avenue, where police arrested him.

The first victim had gone inside ABC Cocina and called the police immediately after his phone was stolen. When police arrived and they reviewed video surveillance of the area, they found that the man who stole the victim’s phone matched the description of the suspect who was in custody for the theft on East 18th Street. The victim gave a description of his cell phone and when they searched the teen, they found it on him.

The teen was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property and his name is being withheld due to his young age.

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