Increased patrols after several robberies on Old Washington Bridge

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Saturday, December 3, 2016
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Josh Einiger reports from Washington Heights.

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- NYPD officers were everywhere around the Old Washington Bridge over the Harlem River Friday night, a heavy presence, in the wake of a wave of violence.

"It got places where you can hide, you understand? So they can sit in the middle and you not knowing who is coming and they can get right at you," a resident said.

Cops Friday night released images of three men, investigators believe preyed on unsuspecting pedestrians as they walked the desolate and dark sidewalk this fall.

In total, eight victims have been assaulted or threatened with a knife, and relieved of cell phones, bikes, jewelry and cash.

"The bridge is too dark, especially at night, you understand, it's too lonely," a resident said.

To get to the bridge you have to walk through a deserted tunnel, where Friday night Eyewitness News found plainclothes police officers on patrol.

The bridge then connects Washington Heights with the Highbridge section of the Bronx.

The stepped up patrols do seem to have made a difference.

After eight cases in three weeks, there hasn't been another one since November 17th, but it hasn't stemmed the fear, nor the urgency to catch these crooks.

"It's really outrageous. To be honest, it's really outrageous," a resident said. "After this time I don't pass the bridge no more."