9.04.2013, 00:40 AM
NYPD seeks thieves who target bicyclists in Riverside Park
Barry Winiker/Getty Images
In Riverside Park in New York, two bicycle riders were stripped of their valuables — including their rides worth $1,000 or more — by a pack of tcreative but cruel thieves.
Bicyclists in New York City’s Riverside Park ought to beware of tripwires — and baseball bat swings.
Police are hunting for a pack of thieves who are both creative and cruel in their pursuit of expensive bikes and any other valuables they can get their hands on.
The bandits, described by police as Latino men in their 20s, are wanted for at least two muggings of bicyclists in the upper West Side greenspace in August.
In the first caper, on Aug. 24, the thieves set a trap. They ran a rope across a bike path near Riverside Drive and W. 177th St. at about 11:15 p.m. As a 40-year-old bicyclist from New Jersey rolled by, they pulled the line tight, knocking the man off his wheels.
The muggers then pounced on the downed pedaler, punching him in the face and taking his $1,500 Cannondale bike. They also stole his iPhone and $500 in cash, police said. The victim was not seriously injured.
RELATED: CONTRITE THIEF RETURNS BIKE, PLUS $10 FOR NEW LOCK
Police believe the same crew struck again in Riverside Park on Thursday.
But, this time, the creeps turned in their rope for a much simpler method — they used a baseball bat to club a cyclist off his expensive ride.
Police said the suspects jumped out of trailside bushes and took a swing at a 35-year-old bicyclist — who also happened to be from New Jersey — at about 9:30 p.m.
They robbed the rider of his wallet, iPhone, backpack and Kindle reader, and a Felt Zoom bike worth about $1,000, police said.
The victim suffered injuries to his shoulders and back, but managed to run away from the scene and flag down a passing patrol car, police sources said. The suspects got away.
Cops have stepped up patrols in Riverside Park.