Band of Thieves on Electric Mopeds Snatch AirPods From 21 New Yorkers’ Ears

The crime spree happened all over Manhattan with four suspects on two mopeds swooping down on unsuspecting pedestrians. The speedy getaways and disregard for traffic laws or civilians make it tough to catch thieves with conventional squad cars. Police have even used helicopter surveillance, but so far the four suspects remain at large.

| 03 Mar 2023 | 04:48

In twenty-one separate incidents, a four-man crew of robbers have been stealing AirPods right out of the ears of Manhattanites and escaping on two mopeds.

All of the thefts have occurred in Manhattan between January 28 and February 18; most have occurred in the afternoon hours. While the majority of the thefts were in Lower Manhattan and the East Village, one was reported as far north as 111th Street in Morningside Heights, and several took place on the Upper East Side, including one at East Drive and 86 Street Transverse and one at Park Avenue and East 77 Street.

Captain Robert Fisher told the 17th Pct community counsel meeting on March 1 that there were “over 20 thefts across Manhattan” but that there were only a couple in the 17th, an East Side precinct that stretches from 34th St. to E. 59th St.

Fisher said the moped attacks make it tougher for police to nab the suspects. “It’s difficult to catch them,” he said. “They can go the wrong way down a one way street and drive on the sidewalks.” Police have even called in helicopters to try to track down the suspects, who so far remain at large. “We absolutely want to catch these guys,” he told the community counsel. “Mopeds are a real safety hazard,” he said. “It’s very dangerous for everyone, even if you’re not targeted.”

He said if civilians see a pair of mopeds that arouses suspicion, “Call the precinct and let us know.”

There were also several in the 19th precinct further to the north, source said.

No injuries have been reported. The average value of the headphones stolen is $500.

All four suspects being sought are male; they described as males with medium complexions. The individuals pair up with two on each moped, one red and one black. Police say the rear passenger on each moped is the one who nabs the headphones.

Anyone with information in regard to 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 CrimeStoppers website at or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

“We absolutely want to catch these guys...Mopes are a real safety hazard. It’s very dangerous even if you’re not targeted.” NYPD Captain Robert Fisher, 17th Pct.