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‘I Floored It,’ Captain Says

‘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 evening, 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 instructed intimately to WSR by Captain Neil Zuber (proven above at a pre-pandemic assembly), commander of the twentieth Precinct. Right here’s how Captain Zuber described the occasions.

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

To start with, they stole the bikes after they have been left unattended. Then, as they acquired extra brazen, they started pushing folks off the bikes, beating them up, and taking the bikes. Not less than 4 of our victims have been handled within the hospital as a result of they have been injured in violent assaults.

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

Then, on Tuesday, September 1st, at about 2 p.m., one other individual was robbed. Two folks jumped out of a BMW, pushed him off his bike, and took the bike. This sufferer was capable of get his telephone 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 have been capable of 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 evening, we acquired an e-mail alert that the automobile had simply come throughout the bridge from the Bronx and was coming into Manhattan. We knew they have been coming to the Higher West Aspect to buy groceries. Instantly we despatched our folks to the realm the place they all the time hit us: the west aspect of the precinct, close to Riverside Drive. We put everybody who was working on the market. We crammed the west aspect of the precinct with eyes. We additionally instructed them, when you see a supply individual, shadow them, as a result of they’re targets and possibly we’ll discover them that method.

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

I acquired 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 instantly in entrance of us. Considered one of us pulled behind it, the opposite in entrance, and we stopped them proper there, 100 yards onto the bridge. They have been so stunned to see us that there was completely no combat. They surrendered proper there and we have been capable of arrest them.

That isn’t the tip of the story. Captain Zuber defined that they nonetheless don’t know the place the bikes are being bought. “We all know they’re not utilizing them simply to pleasure journey,” he stated. “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 could possibly hear the thrill in Captain Zuber’s voice. “I’ve to inform you,” he stated, “it was so good going on the market and doing the hands-on police work once more — so significantly better than sitting in on Zoom conferences,” he added, laughing. “To have that constructive end result was nice. We may have handed it off, however we wished to be there ourselves to ensure it acquired performed.“

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 need to exit and do the job they signed as much as do. That is simply proving it.”

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