A 25-year-old man is in the newest victim of a category of crime that the New York Attorney General’s Office says is increasingly common.
The victim says four men dressed as Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents jumped out of a silver van in East Williamsburg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Gothamist reports that on July 11, the four suspects shoved him off his bicycle, identified themselves as ICE agents and showed fake badges. They ran the victim’s pockets, removed his wallet and took $60 before fleeing in their vehicle.
The suspects were caught on a surveillance camera. They are currently at large; NYPD wants them on charges of criminal impersonation and robbery. People targeted in similar situations have been told to hand over cash or else get deported.
Gothamist reports that crimes like this have been on the rise along with actual immigration raids and deportations by ICE, complicating matters.
New York City is similar to a “sanctuary city” in that it often does not cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). However, a short list of offenses — known as ‘170 offenses’ — do trigger cooperation with DHS and, by extension, ICE.
Democratic mayor Bill DeBlasio has indicated an interest in adding offenses that would trigger cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, prompting outcry from fellow Democrats.