New York man takes one shoe off of multiple women.
It takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round, right? But, of all the goods a criminal might be interested in stealing, it’s pretty wacky to want a single used shoe from women’s feet. Yet, that’s exactly the type of criminal law enforcement is on the outlook for in New York. Police are searching for a man who has removed only one shoe off of female victims during a grand larceny spree in Brooklyn and Queens. He has been captured on surveillance video but has yet to be identified.
Officers reported the first incident of shoe theft occurred back in January of this year in East Flatbush. As a woman entered a building first thing in the morning, around 9 A.M., the African American suspect, said to be in his 20s or 30s, followed her and approached her, demanding she give him only her right shoe. It is unclear whether there is a significance to it being the right versus the left, but he specifically asked for the right.
Then, just after 11 A.M. on February 9, the same suspect was spotted at the Grand Army subway station demanding the only left Nike sneaker of another female. She complied with the odd request.
Most recently, the same man was inside the Rego Center on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park around 12:15 P.M. on May 24. He again removed only one shoe off of a woman, according to law enforcement.
Most curiously, each of the man’s victims were 24 years old. Again, it is unclear whether there is any significance to that particular age.
Shoes have long been the focus of interest to thieves looking to swipe them and resell them for a significant return. They tend to target high-end, designer shoe brands that will offer the most profit. The goal is to quickly snatch them from businesses and get them back into the market before they get caught. It has been said that stealing branded, expensive footwear poses less of a risk than stealing other valuables such as cash, or jewelry.
Recently, for example, in Mahadevapura, Bangalore, a thief stole 25 pairs of shoes in a single apartment complex. Thieves also stole a whopping $100,000 worth of sneakers from a small Cincinnati business’ storage unit in April of this year.
“300 pairs of shoes probably totaled up to $100,000 worth of inventory,” said Mike Giddens, owner of the storage unit in which inventory for his online business Heart and Sole Cincy was being held. He added, “It was very targeted. They knew I had shoes in there.”
Because Giddens only carries a small insurance policy, he is unable to replace the lost items. Luckily, the community has provided him with support. His church, individuals, and other shoe stores have all donated sneakers to him.
The New York case, however, is one of a kind – literally. Why only one shoe? That is the question NYPD is trying to get to the bottom of in the latest spree. The department has asked that anyone with information regarding the suspect and/or his whereabouts contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).