Search on for 'chokehold muggers'

February 7, 2008 4:12:51 PM PST
The search is on for two muggers in the Bronx who have a unique plan of attack.They approach their victims from behind, and put them in a chokehold. But now, the guys have been caught on camera, and police are hoping their number is up.

Eyewitness News reporter Phil Lipof has the story.

The reason why police say they've had a hard time finding the suspects is because they seem to attack at random with no similarities between the victims. They attack people of all ages, from 18 to 87. They target women and men.

Police say the two young men are responsible for five attacks in just eight days.

All the incidents were reported as violent assaults where the victims were surprised. They were taken from behind, put into a chokehold and robbed of anything valuable.

"It's horrible," Bronx resident Lanette Ortiz said. "I mean they really need to have more police out here."

Police are on the case, but so far they've come up short. So they are asking for the public's help.

One of the attacks happened on the stairs to the train station at Westchester Avenue and Simpson Street.

Another occurred around the corner on Southern Boulevard, and yet another just the day before inside a building also on Southern Boulevard.

That incident was when police got their break. Surveillance camera captured images of the two men just seconds after they attacked an 87-year-old woman in a stairwell.

Word of that attack spread quickly.

"I was kind of scared, because you could be walking in your kids, you know, you can get hurt," resident Chastity Augosto said.

And Augosto also worries about the safety of attackers, who so far haven't pulled a weapon.

"They could get hurt," she said. "They could rob the wrong person and you could get hurt. Not everybody walks the street with nothing. Some people walk with guns, knives."

So before something else happens, police desperately want these guys off the street.