A March of Dimes walkathon turned into a “rob-a-thon” when roving bands of young people swept into the crowd of 26,000 walkers and stole chain necklaces, purses and other property, police said Monday.
Sgt. Ed LeSchack said 11 youths were arrested Sunday in connection with the incidents, which occurred near the finish line in Central Park.
Authorities said that at least seven persons were injured in the attacks.
“We are shocked and outraged,” said Gene Sower, a spokesman for the WalkAmerica march of the Greater New York March of Dimes.
“It is unfortunate that, in spite of the presence of police, the good acts of so many were tarnished by the wanton acts of a few,” he said.
The walkathons were held in 1,100 communities across America, and the annual event was expected to raise $25 million, organizers said. Outside New York, the organizers reported no similar crime problems.