3 men wanted in string of Manhattan cab driver robberies on Christmas Day

UNION SQUARE, Manhattan -- Police are searching for at least three men wanted for a string of robberies in Manhattan.

Investigators say the four incidents happened on Christmas day, three of them not far from Union Square, and the fourth close to the Manhattan Municipal Building.

Taxi drivers were targeted in every case, with their wallets being taken either by force or by distraction.

In the first incident, authorities say the 70-year-old driver was letting a passenger out of his vehicle when two men tried to pull the driver out of the car. They got away with the victim's wallet, and no injuries were reported.

It happened in broad daylight at 3:40 p.m.

The second robbery happened less than two hours later near East 14th Street. Police say three men hailed the 45-year-old driver, and one of them distracted the victim by engaging him in conversation. They got away with the driver's wallet.

Then, just five minutes later, they allegedly struck again on the same street. Two of the men hailed a taxi driven by a 37-year-old man, and the third man spoke to the driver at his window while the other two stole his wallet.

The final robbery took place at 7:20 p.m. in front of 1 Centre Street. Police say the suspects used the same routine as the previous robbery, distracting the 47-year-old driver while the others grabbed his wallet.

Fortunately, none of the cab drivers were injured.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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