Three men sought for allegedly snatching cellphones from unsuspecting pedestrians in downtown Flushing in recent weeks: NYPD

Cops are looking for these masked men who allegedly snatched cellphones from four pedestrians, including two seniors, in downtown Flushing.
Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing are searching for a trio of cellphone snatchers behind a series of grand larcenies in downtown Flushing recent weeks.

The police are urging pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings, as the pickpockets have been targeting people in the commercial corridor. The three suspects forcibly removed cellphones from the hands of victims three times in just over a half hour in broad daylight on Friday, Feb. 9.

The first incident occurred at noon in front of the Queens Public Library branch at 41-17 Main St., where three men approached a 38-year-old man and snatched his cellphone before running off southbound on Kissena Boulevard, police said. The crew headed east along Barclay Avenue, where they targeted a 73-year-old man about five minutes later near the intersection Bowne Street, forcibly removing his cellphone and running off eastbound on 41st Avenue, according to the NYPD.

Cops reported that the trio resurfaced about a half hour later in front of a parking garage at 138-23 39th Ave., where they snatched a cellphone out of the hands of a 74-year-old man before running off in an unknown direction. None of the victims were injured during the incidents.

Investigators determined that the three men first struck just before noon on Tuesday, Jan. 23, when they approached a 36-year-old man in front of a commercial strip in the vicinity of 37-12 Main St. They were recorded on video snatching the cellphone out of the victim’s hands.

The NYPD released that video and several surveillance images of the three suspects on Friday and described them as wearing black bubble jackets over black hooded sweatshirts, black sweatpants, face masks and black and yellow sneakers.

One of the phone snatching suspects. Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Anyone with information  regarding these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

Through Feb. 11, the 109th Precinct has reported 165 grand larcenies so far in 2024, 3 fewer than the 168 reported at the same point last year, a decline of 1.8%, according to the most recent CompStat report.