A spike in robberies has some men in the Queens neighborhood of Little Bangladesh on edge. NY1’s Ruschell Boone spoke with the victims of some violent attacks.
“He just came in front of me and he put his gun right here. Right there,” says MD Karim.
Karim is still shaken up after being robbed at gunpoint a week and a half ago in Jamaica. The cab driver had just finished the night shift. He parked his car on Homelawn Street and was walking home when said a masked man stepped from behind this tree at Highland Avenue.
“He took my phone and he said, ‘Give me your wallet.’ I said, ‘I don’t have any wallet.’ He said, ‘Give your bag,’ and he took my bag and I just said, ‘Don’t shoot me,’” Karim says.
The robbery is one of several to take place in Little Bangladesh in the last six months. The incident happened on August 16th at 3 a.m. and a week later Karim’s friend was also robbed. This time by two men in a violent attack. It happened on 88th Avenue at 4 a.m.
“They came behind me and did like this,” says Aminul Islam.
Islam says he was talking on his phone when one of robbers grabbed him while the other punched him in the face and stole the phone. He says they knocked himn unconscious. When he came to, he was on the sidewalk bleeding.
“They were just coming and just suddenly they attacked,” Islam says.
Still scarred by their ordeal, them men now walk in pairs—especially at night.
They’re not the only ones on edge, either. The robberies have created fear among many of the residents here.
“The peopel are getting scared and people don’t want to come out at night. They feel scared to go home,” says Bahalul Syed, president of the Jamaica Bangladesh Association.
Dulal Ahmed’s money transfer business was hit in April when two people assaulted him and a customer who was sending money to Bangladesh.
Boone: “How much money did they steal?”
Ahmed: “Two thousand one hundred dollars, I think.”
Police statistics for the precincts covering the area show robberies are up 10 and a half percent in the 103rd precinct year to date and nearly 3 and a half percent in the 107th. This as robberies citywide are down a tick compared to last year.
“We need to have more patrols out here at night,” Syed says.
That appears to be when many of the robberies have taken place.