MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood police received reports of two robberies during the early morning hours of July 5. A man reported being robbed of his wallet and iPhone in the area of Summit Avenue at about 1 a.m., and a teenager reported being robbed of his iPhone and cash at about the same time in the area of Prospect Avenue. Both described the perpetrators as two men on bicycles.
According to the police report, a man stated that he was walking in the area of Summit Avenue and Midland Boulevard at about 1 a.m. on July 5, when "he was approached by two males on bikes and told to empty his pockets."
The man stated that he was robbed of his wallet and his iPhone, according to the police report, and described the assailants as "two young black males, possibly in their teens, wearing black hoodies and riding black bicycles."
The victim also reported that one of the men "struck him in his head with a closed fist as he was emptying his pockets." The victim stated he had no injuries and did not want to see a medical professional, and no marks or cuts were visible, according to the police report.
After turning over his wallet and iPhone, the man reported that he continued walking to his home, and that the two men fled south on Summit Avenue, towards Elmwood Avenue.
The second robbery was reported at about 1:30 a.m. in the area of Prospect Street and Plymouth Avenue. According to the police report, a teenager stated that he was walking home on Prospect Street when "two black males on bikes approached him and demanded he give them what he had on him."
The teenager initially refused and then was pushed by one of the men, at which point he "handed over his iPhone 5s and $5 cash and the actors then proceeded to head towards Valley Street," according to the police report. No injuries were reported, according to the police report.
The teenager described the assailants as "two black males approx. 17-19 years of age, one wearing a white tank top with a black hooded sweatshirt around his neck and the other waring a black scully [hat] with fingerless gloves on a smaller blue bike."
According to the police report, the man who reported the Summit Street robbery was "told to ping his phone using the 'where is my i-Phone' app and call headquarters with their location." The man agreed, and called headquarters within a few minutes to report that the app showed his cell phone was in the area of Valley Street and Park Avenue, according to the police report.
Police officers checked the area, and according to the police report, saw two men riding bicycles who fit the description that had been given by the victim. One of the police officers pulled up in his vehicle next to one of the men and according to the police report "told him to stop and get off the bike." The man accelerated his peddling, and one of the officers was able to grab the handlebar of the bike forcing the man to lose control of the bike, and to fall off, according to the police report.
After falling off the bike, the man was in the the backyards of the homes located at the corner of Valley Street and Oakview Avenue, stated the police report, and police officers searched the backyards of the homes in the area, but were unable to find him.
The bicycle and a black hooded sweatshirt, which had been tied around the man's neck, were taken into property by police and turned over to the Detective Bureau for further investigation, according to the police report.