By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police are looking for a group of teenagers suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of electronic toothbrushes from Duane Reades throughout the city, including from a store in Gramercy. The four incidents all took place in April, although police only announced the pattern this week. The first theft took place inside the Duane Reade at 125 Third Avenue near East 14th Street on Sunday, April 9 at 9:18 p.m. when the suspects reportedly grabbed $1,264 worth of electronic toothbrushes from the shelves and fled.
The next two incidents took place two days later on April 11 in stores on the Upper East Side. Police said that the suspects entered a Duane Reade at 1091 Lexington Avenue at 5:07 p.m. and swiped $1,210 worth of electronic toothbrushes before fleeing, then stole $3,030 worth of electronic toothbrushes from a Duane Reade at 1352 First Avenue at 5:20 p.m.
The last known incident took place on Sunday, April 23 when the suspects made off with $160 worth of electronic toothbrushes from a Duane Reade at 155 East 34th Street near Third Avenue.
Police are looking for four to six black teenagers who are between 15 and 19 years old. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
Police said that no similar incidents have been reported since April but information about the crimes was released now because the NYPD only recently established the pattern. Police also had no further information about why the teens were specifically stealing the toothbrushes but an officer noted that the suspects may be selling them, as large quantities of other pharmacy items, such as nail polish, often get stolen for that purpose.