Immigrants targeted in series of Harrisburg robberies

ImmigrationTheftThomas CarterCell PhonesHealth

City police are investigating a series of robbery and assaults in which immigrants and people who have a hard time with English appear to be the targets. Police say a spokesperson for a large group of people from Bhutan, Nepal and other areas feel that the immigrants are being targeted for some reason.

The following crimes appear to be related:On January 6th, two women told police they were looking for a grandson in the area of Seneca and Logan Streets around 4:40pm. They asked a group of teenaged boys and girls if they had seen the boy. The group of teens said they could not help them and walked away. But then they followed the women, both in their 50's, and one of the boys in the group grabbed one woman and wrestled her purse from her. The victims told police the two teenage girls in the group mockingly laughed at the women as they tried to defend themselves. The group ran off. Neither victim was harmed. Officers checked the area and found the victim's purse.Nothing of value was removed.

On January 19th, around 7:45pm,a 54 year-old man was robbed walking in the 2300 block of Susquehanna Street. He was returning home from a grocery store and was carrying a bag of items he had purchased. He was attacked from behind by a group of about four black males. They knocked him to the pavement and took his valuables. He suffered minor contusions.

Police investigated a robbery at an Uptown residence on January 21st. The victim called police after he woke up in his apartment around 6pm, being tended to by one of his neighbors. He remembered he had walked to the Uptown Food Market at 2336 North 3rd Street. He got $100 out of an ATM and bought some food items. The neighbor came to his aid after seeing blood smeared on his apartment door. The 58 year-old victim suffered a broken nose, lacerations and contusions to his face. He had no idea what had happened to him. The officers located the site where the man was apparently attacked. His eyeglasses and some food items were found. The victim was taken to the Harrisburg Hospital for treatment.

In another robbery following the same pattern, a 55 year-old man was robbed around 3:15pm on the 2500 block of North 3rd Street, also following a trip to the grocery store. A young woman asked the victim for money. When the victim said he didn't have any money to give her he was immediately attacked from behind by at least two men. He was hit and kicked and knocked to the pavement. Police say the victim's property was not taken and in fact he didn't have any money left. He suffered broken teeth and possibly a broken jaw.

Around 6:45pm the same night in the area of North 3rd Street and Seneca Streets a 71 year-old man was assaulted and robbed while returning home from visiting a friend. This victim was recovering from hip surgery and was walking with a cane. He was attacked by four black males. One kicked him on his hip and knocked him to the pavement. He dropped his cell phone during the attack. One robber grabbed the cell phone and the group ran off laughing. Police say the victim is an African immigrant and was terribly upset by the episode.

On Monday evening, a 38 year-old African immigrant told police he was attacked by about seven black males as he was walking in the 2700 block of Green Street. He was beaten and kicked and knocked to the sidewalk. Nothing was taken from him. He suffered contusions and abrasions.

The investigation continues and anyone having any information on this is asked to contact Det. Christopher Krokos at 717-255-3184 or email or Sgt. Thomas Carter at 717-255-6586 or email The investigation continues and anyone having any information on this is asked to contact Det. Jason Paul at 717-255-3154 or email or Sgt. Thomas Carter at 717-255-6586 or email

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