Criminals are increasingly hiding weapons in tourist staples

It’s more than just a fashion crime.

City criminals with guns these days are buckled up in more than one way and increasingly stashing their illegal firearms in unsightly belt pouches, police sources told the Post.

“It’s been a huge thing for about a year, everyone has been wearing fanny packs,” said an NYPD insider. “These guys don’t use holsters, so the Fanny [pack] is probably better than sticking the gun in your pants. “

Though the stale accessory may conjure up wide-eyed images of tourists in Times Square, it has become fashionable among violent criminals, with multiple sources – and more than a dozen documented cases across the city last year – confirming the trend.

Recently, the unarrested gunman who fatally shot and killed 21-year-old Citi bike rider Pierrot Simeon on East 53rd Street and Clarkson Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn last week was caught on camera stripping out a belt pouch carried on the shoulder to get the act up close.

At around 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, police responded to an emergency call from a male shot on the corner of Clarkson Avenue and East 53rd Street within the boundaries of 67 Precinct.  Upon arrival, police found that a 21-year-old man had been shot several times in the upper body and once in the left forearm.  The victim was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.An unarrested gunman who fatally shot and killed 21-year-old Citi bike rider Pierrot Simeon in Brooklyn was caught on camera pulling a piece out of a shoulder belt pouch to do the crime at close range .DCPI

Donovan Bailey – a renowned Crips teenage member – was also allegedly in a pre-Labor Day shootout at the J’Ouvert Festival in Brooklyn that injured six people, including a 6-year-old boy with a broken thigh bone the heat.

Police officers who arrested Bailey after the bloodshed allegedly found a 40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine in his belt pouch, according to court records.

NYPD tries to help a child who was shot dead during a J'ouvert celebration on Nostrand and Montgomery in Crown Heights.  3 people were shot, a child, a man and a woman. A six-year-old boy was left with a broken femur after a shooting in the stomach.Stephen Yang |

Last December, in Hell’s Kitchen, near Times Square, a 52-year-old man was blown in the buttocks by an armed man who, according to police and sources, was keeping his piece in a belt pouch.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspected shooter had been arrested in the incident.

And last month, again in Brooklyn, ex-inmate Kahmel Mobley allegedly tried to throw away a bum bag containing a Bryco Arms semi-automatic pistol when police destroyed a drunken party in Crown Heights, according to authorities.

When a buddy saw the police arrive, Mobley allegedly ran out and threw the loaded belt pouch under a parked car during a brief chase, authorities said.

“Fk it, it is what it is,” he allegedly told police officers under interrogation and admitted that he had carried the gun. “I’d rather be caught with it than without it.”

This attitude is becoming more common on the street, a Bronx police officer told the Post last week in connection with a deadly gang war that struck the district.

NY Post Cover September 8, 2020.The cover of the New York Post last September after a 6-year-old boy was shot dead.

“Everyone is walking around with a gun because they are more afraid of being shot than of being arrested,” the insider said.

And they are increasingly choosing to keep these guns in fanny packs, other sources said.

“Fanny packs are an automatic red flag,” said a source. “Of course we can’t stop them just because of the belt pouch, but the anti-crime” [and] Public safety teams, in particular, will be looking for a reason to make a justified stop. “

Two other longtime NYPD investigators, each with more than 20 years of work experience, confirmed the trend – but said it was actually a look back at past decades showing that crime, like fashion, is cyclical.

“It used to be like that,” said one of the veterans. “They used to have guns in their belt pouches. Now that they know they won’t be stopped, bring it back. “

The source said criminals believe putting their guns in fanny packs gives them added protection from police searches, especially since stop-and-frisk declined.

“You know you can’t stop them,” this source said. “Unless someone says they saw you put the gun in your belt pouch, you have no likely reason to stop her.”

The other insider said bum bags have been popular makeshift holsters over the past few decades and are now resurrecting.

“They wore them in the 80s and early 90s,” the source said. “In winter they put their weapons in their coats. In summer they put it in their belt pouch. “

Pierrot SimeonPierrot Simeon

This source said that in addition to the weapons themselves, the packs were often used to store drugs and replacement ammunition.

“You don’t have to wear it in your pants if you have a belt pouch,” the source explained. “It’s just unusual to see teenagers and men walking around with fanny packs.

“Tourists do that.”

Additional coverage from Larry Celona

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