Suspected Apple AirPod Max thieves caught on camera in New York City

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Saturday, February 10, 2024
Suspected Apple AirPod Max thieves caught on camera in NYC
Crystal Cranmore has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The NYPD is on the hunt for a group of serial thieves who use mopeds and Citi Bikes to snatch Apple AirPod Max over-ear headphones off the heads of unsuspecting pedestrians.

Police say the bandits generally work in pairs, but in some cases they have worked in a group of four, and have struck 21 times in Manhattan and Queens since September.

The latest robbery happened on January 18 in Astoria, when 16-year-old had his AirPod Max headphones snatched from him while standing on Steinway Street.

The price tag of the headphones is around $550.

"They will ride up on an unsuspecting victim and snatch their headphones right off their heads," said NYPD Capt. Tawee Theanthong.

Police have released surveillance images of four suspects, seen riding a Citi Bike and moped.

They are described as males with medium complexion.

Capt. Theanthong with the NYPD's Central Robbery Unit says the department is cracking down on illegal mopeds, but the biggest challenge in this investigation has been tracking the headphones once they are stolen.

"These AirPods can be tracked, but they are savvy," he said. "They know to turn them off or reset them after a steal and they do sell them again."

Some people Eyewitness News reporter Crystal Cranmore spoke with are now promising to be extra careful.

"A lot of these headphones have noise cancelling tech so you're not hearing things around you," Queens resident Kevin Douglas said. "Just have to be aware."

Police believe they are looking for men between 20 and 30 years old.

Investigators are asking for the public's help tracking these suspects down.

Call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.

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Lucy Yang has the exclusive report.


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