Marine Park parents claim their kids are being targeted by older teens intent on stealing expensive trick bikes, saying that as many as five of the high-priced stunt cycles have been nabbed since Memorial Day.
“They keep getting stolen, because they’re expensive and you can do tricks on them,” said Sarah, a Marine Park mom whose 12-year-old son lost his custom trick bike to thieves.
Sarah, who asked that her last name not be used, claims her son was at the Marine Park basketball courts near Fillmore Avenue on May 27, when a teenager approached the boy asking to perform some tricks on his FeCycles trick bike, only to then pedal away the moment he was seated.
Sarah’s husband claimed that a friend of his spotted the stolen bike tied at distant Paerdegat Park on June 6, but that when he went to retrieve it, he was surrounded by knife-wielding teens and decided to back off.
“Seven kids rushed to me, threatening me as I continued to retrieve my son’s bike. I didn’t engage with them, but they were trying to attack me,” said the dad, who asked his name not be used. “I backed away when one of them showed me a knife. I want something to be done because I’m afraid they will graduate to something worse than stealing bikes.”
Another Marine Park mom, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claims that her son was in the park near Fillmore Avenue on June 13, when two kids approached him while he was playing basketball, asking “hey can you teach us how to do wheelies,” before nabbing his custom So Cal Flyer, a trick bike manufactured by SE Bicycles, which retails for between $500 and $700.
Police recorded two additional heists targeting middle-school-aged kids and their bikes within the 63rd Precinct, which includes Marine Park, Mill Basin, and Flatlands.
The first occurred on Flatbush Avenue near Baughman Street on June 13 at 4:40 p.m., when two 12-year-old kids and a 13-year-old approached the victim, 12, and started pressuring him to hand over his bike, before eventually kicking him off and then riding away, cops said.
Cops busted three suspects on June 20, charging the kids as juveniles with robbery, petit larceny, assault and criminal possession of stolen property.
The second theft occurred back in Marine Park near Fillmore Avenue on June 21 at 5:40 p.m., when a crook approached a 13-year-old boy, ordered him off his bike, and then pedaled away, cops said.
Police were unable to provide additional information about the types of bike stolen in those incident, but Sarah and her husband claim they’ve spoken to other parents and are aware of five trick bikes being stolen.
Police have responded to the bike thefts by leading targeted patrols of parks within the 63rd Precinct, and locals are encouraged to contact the precinct to register the bikes with the department, making it easier to return the bikes in the event of a robbery, according a spokesman for the department.
But frustrated parents feel that enough is being done, and Sarah claims she won’t be satisfied until the city allocates a permanent security detail to the embattled park.
“Are Marine Park residents just forgotten? I mean we are people and we have families,” Sarah said. “There should be someone here monitoring the park.”