A gang of motorcyclists forced a driver out of his car at gunpoint and beat him before driving off in his BMW in the streets of Manhattan, police said.
It comes as car thefts in the city have surged by more than 15 percent in the last year.
The shocking video, released by the New York Police Department, shows a 23-year-old driver about to leave his parking spot on Riverside Drive at around 2:30am on Sunday morning when a motorcyclist and his passenger block him in.
The passenger gets off the bike and pulls out a gun from his pants, before leaning through the passenger-side window and pointing it at the driver.
Two more motorcycles appear on the scene, as another member of the gang runs up to the drivers’ side and opens the door.
Two attackers drag the driver out of the car as he desperately clings to his seat.
One of gang, wearing a gray hoodie, then jumps in to the driver’s seat as the vehicle’s owner is thrown to the ground.
A pair of motorcyclists stop a 23-year-old driver from leaving his parking spot as one them, pictured in a grey hoodie, pulls out a gun and points it at the driver
A whole gang appears to trap the driver in place and they begin pulling him out of the car
The driver, left, attempts to fight off one of the robbers who is trying to steal his gain jewelry before the robber sucker punches him in the face
One of the robbers then approaches the victim and tries to take his chain jewelry, The New York Post reports.
The victim tries to keep the robber away, but the thief sucker punches him.
The robber appears to yell at the victim, who assumes a defensive pose before the robber tries again to steal the chain.
When the victim resists once again, the robber punches him and yanks the chain away from the man before running back to his gang.
The motorcyclists drive off with the stolen BMW, and are still at large, police said.
The victim was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital and treated for a cut to his eye and a broken nose.
The driver takes up a defensive pose as the thief keeps trying to steal his chain
After a second punch, the robber steals the chain and continues to intimidate the victim
The motorcyclists drive off with the newly stolen BMW as they leave the driver behind
While violent crime overall had been slightly down in New York City this year compared to last year, by less than 1 per cent, the number of vehicle thefts has rocketed.
Grand larceny auto crimes are up 15.4 percent in the year to September 12, with 6,763 reported crimes this year compared to 5,862 in the same period in 2020.
Felony assaults are also up nearly six percent in the year to September 2021 to 15,395, compared to the same period last year.
Murders were down from 340 in 2020 to 325 in 2021. Robberies also saw a slight decrease from 8,846 to 8,718.
The number of shooting victims stayed nearly constants with 1,342 reported as of September 2020 to 13,41 by the same time this year.
But the number of shooting incidents is up by 2.6 percent, from 1,089 in 2020 to 1,117 in 2021.
While overall crime has seen a slight decrease, felony assaults and rapes are up this year
New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea has called for reform after crime surged over the summer, arguing that the ‘soft on criminals experiment’ has been a disaster.
‘This city is built on public safety,’ Commissioner Shea said during a Monday evening interview with Spectrum News.
‘We’re probably about two years into this soft-on-criminals ‘experiment’ if you will, ‘let’s empty out the jails, and show me a New Yorker that at this point and time thinks this experiment has worked. It’s been a disaster.’
Shea said he hopes New York’s new governor, Kathy Hochul, will make necessary changes to increase safety across the city.
‘Common sense is what we need. Reforms are good, but let’s do reforms that are calibrated in such a way with the input of law enforcement,’ he argued.
‘It’s time to fix these laws and get back to where we all need to be.’
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who boasted that this summer was one of the city’s safest and praised the NYPD’s work for making a record number of gun-related arrests, blamed courts for the increases of some crimes.
He lashed out at the state’s criminal justice system, the high crime rates in the Big Apple on a dramatically reduced number of trial verdicts, which he slammed as ‘unacceptable.’
The mayor said courts have been lagging behind other institutions in reopening at full capacity, despite offers of help from the administration
A spokesperson for the court system responded by accusing the mayor of ‘gaslighting’ the public in an attempt to shift the blame for the crime epidemic.
Speaking during his daily remote press conference on August 31, de Blasio revealed that in the first half of 2021, there were only 18 trial verdicts across the five boroughs, compared to 405 during the same time in 2019.
‘That isn’t good enough,’ the mayor said.
Lucian Chaifen, Director of Communications with the Office of Court Administration, responded to de Blasio’s harsh criticism by accusing the mayor of engaging in finger-pointing.
‘Yet again, the mayor demonstrates his glaring lack of understanding of the criminal justice process in this state,’ Chaifen said in a statement. ‘His gaslighting rhetoric regarding court operations is an attempt to shift the public safety discussion continues.’
The spokesperson argued that the court system has been back at full strength since May, and rebuked prosecutors and defense attorneys for not being prepared to try their cases.
A spokesperson for the court system hit out at de Blasio, accusing him of using ‘gaslighting’ rhetoric’ to shift blame
Chaifen, nevertheless, acknowledged that because of social distancing requirements, only three trials can now be held simultaneously in each county, compared to up to a dozen before the pandemic, as The NY Post reported.
State courts outside New York City have produced 118 trial verdicts during the first eight months of the year.
Lisa Ohta, president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, told NY1 that although the pandemic has delayed some trials, there is little evidence to suggest that it has resulted in elevated crime rates.
‘It is the low-level offenses, the violations, the non-violent misdemeanors that have been delayed more than other things, as they should be, because these are not issues that are putting people at serious risk,’ Ohta said.