On Saturday, July 16, at 1:00pm, I was robbed.
I was sitting in the passenger side of my car on Fulton Street and Marcus Garvey Boulevard, in front of the check-cashing center, waiting for my boyfriend to get a helmet at the bike shop.
I was listening to music on my iPhone, and I had the passenger side door open to get relief, as it was 90 degrees.
I closed my eyes for 3 minutes, when a young, dark-skinned African-American male, about 15 to 18 years old, dropped his red BMX bike down in front of the chicken place, came over to the passenger side of my car and snatched my iPhone, threw my headphones back in my face, and then reached inside of the car and took my boyfriend's phone (a Samsung Galaxy) out the inside console.
The culprit had a small afro, and wore a blue and red baseball hat and blue athletic shorts. After he snatched our phones, he started to take off on his bike. I started to run after him, but remembered that my keys were still in the ignition, along with my wallet and my boyfriend’s wallet, which were still in the car. So I decided to go back.
I contacted the 79th and 81st Precincts. The 79th Pct responded right away and came on the scene, but they could not take the report, because the incident occurred within the confines of the 81st Pct, so they waited there with me for the 81st Pct police to arrive.
The officer was there with me for an hour and 20 minutes before someone from the 81st Precinct arrived. I asked the officer at the 79th Pct., “Why are they taking so long? What if I was in real trouble? I could be dead by now!” And the officer told me that there was a shortage of police officers all over the city, and that the 81st only had two patrol cars out.
It also turned out that I wasn't alone: When the 81st Pct police finally arrived, I was informed by the police that there were three grand larcenies within 20 minutes of each other on Fulton Street.
They said that 20 minutes after I was robbed, another young lady was attacked in the park right up the street on Fulton and Stuyvesant for her iPhone. She gave the exact same description as my attacker. But she could not chase him, she said, because she was in heels.
And then, further up Fulton, another attacked happened on Utica Avenue, but by a different culprit. Fortunately, that victim fought for her phone and won.
I'm very upset for two reasons: #1. A police shortage means more crimes of opportunity and more victims who will never be helped; #2. If everyone, even the police, deems Fulton Street as "Robbery Row," then why aren’t there any cameras along that street to catch these kids committing these crimes?
I just wanted to inform people of the community to please keep your eyes open, remain alert, and do not display cell phones. EVEN IN YOUR CARS! It's unfortunate that our black youth are attacking women and are committing crimes of opportunity against their own people.
I advocate to uplift the community by giving these teens something to do over the summer. But crimes and activities like this, saddens me to the bones. I hope my story will push for cameras on Fulton Street, and encourage people to remain cautious at all times.
**The writer is 26 years old, and has lived in Bed-Stuy for 17 years. She has chosen to remain anonymous, because her case is still under investigation.
For more information on iSnatches and the problem of electronic thefts in Bed-Stuy, click .
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