AP NEWS

W-B Robberies Continue With Heights Section Hold-up

January 16, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — A man walking in the Heights section on Tuesday was beaten and robbed in the latest of a series of brazen robberies targeting pedestrians across the city.

The robbery comes days after police issued an alert warning that at least a dozen people have been robbed in the North End and East End sections of the city since September. 

The latest attack took place in the 300 block of Park Avenue around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, when a man walking was grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground. The attacker punched the man in the face several times, saying, “Where’s your money at? I know you have money,” according to police.

The robber then went through the victim’s pockets and fled the scene with his wallet and some cash, police said.

The attack took place mere days after police issued an alert that at least a dozen victims have been robbed under similar circumstances in the North End and East End sections in the past four months.

The victims in those cases were also on foot and approached from behind before being assaulted and robbed, police said. 

In the North End section, a single black man in a gray hoodie has been targeting older men in the area of North Washington Street, East Chestnut Street and North Main Street, police said. The man has been assaulting the victims before taking their wallets and phones, according to police.

In the East End section, a group of two or three black men armed with a handgun has been targeting men walking in the area of Kidder, Chapel and Laurel streets, police said.

Some of the more recent robberies include:

— A 37-year-old man who was beaten on the head and robbed of $100 while walking on Spring Street around 6:45 p.m. Jan. 5. The suspects in that case were described as three black men between 5 feet, 9 inches and 6 feet, 1 inch tall. All were wearing dark clothing and surgical masks, police said.

— A 69-year-old woman who had her purse snatched while she was walking on South Main Street around 5:15 p.m. Jan. 6. The robber was a black man, about 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, who was dressed in black with a hooded sweatshirt pulled over his face.

— A 36-year-old man who was robbed on Spring Street around 10 p.m. Jan. 7. Police say two black men approached and one of them pulled a gun and rummaged his pockets before taking the victim’s cellphone.

— A 70-year-old man who was punched in the face and robbed of his wallet while walking on Pearl Street around 12:10 p.m. Jan. 8. The robber was described as a black man wearing black pants and a gray sweater.

Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call police at 570-208-4200.

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