New York, NY - You’ll never see them coming.
A handful of clever grifters have been scamming unsuspecting passersby in midtown with just a pair of broken glasses, cops warn.
The con artists bump into their mark, flash a pair of prebroken glasses to the ground and then begin angrily demanding cash to pay for the “smashed” specs.
The scam has become so widespread that cops from Manhattan’s Midtown North Precinct put out flyers with the photos of some of the worst scammers - known as “fraudulent accosting recidivists” - for the sheer number of times they have run their schemes.
“The scam is an oldie but a goodie. The victims get flustered and sometimes turn over the cash just to get the suspect to shut up and leave them alone,” a police source said.
Nair (Naim) Jabbar had two pairs of broken eyeglasses in a bag when cops arrested him last month. The ex-con bumped into his latest victim on W. 53rd St. and Fifth Ave., court records show.
“You broke my glasses! You own me $125!” Jabbar, 41, yelled.
But when his victim asked him to come back to his office to figure out a solution, Jabbar slunk off, court papers said.
Jabbar’s 29-year-old lookout, Jshawn Lewis, had $1,478 in cash in his pockets, police said.
Jabbar has upward of 40 arrests - and more than a dozen convictions for similar scams - so cops expect to see him again.
“They run the scam, get caught, do a short time in jail, come out and do it again,” another police source said. “The only way to break it is to wise people up to the scams, so they don’t get taken.”
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