NEW YORK - The NYPD is looking for two men who've been driving around Queens on a scooter and snatching necklaces off people's necks, including a young girl's.
CBS2's Natalie Duddridge spoke to her about her traumatizing experience.
"They're the worst human beings alive just to put a 12-year-old girl in that position," said Julie Montiel.
Montiel, 12, stood with her mother as she described the moment the two men rode up behind her on a scooter and one grabbed her necklace and tried to pull it off her, dragging her down the sidewalk until the scooter fell over. The man kept pulling until he got her chain, and they drove off.
"It happened so fast I didn't feel when I was getting dragged," Montiel said. "I only cared about the necklace."
The seventh grader was able to get back up. Her mother says they hurt her elbow, legs, face and especially her neck.
Montiel says she held on because the necklace had sentimental value because her mom gave it to her when she was little.
"I think it was very special, because I had it for a lot of years. For me, it was like safety," she said.
The robbery happened Oct. 24 as she was walking home after school on Layton Street near Britton Avenue.
Montiel says she noticed the men following her for about five minutes before they assaulted her.
"They were following from 82nd to my house," she said. "I think they're disrespectful. I've never harmed someone in a way the way did to me. I don't think I deserved that."
Police say these same thieves have struck seven times since in neighborhoods throughout Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights.
Some robberies have been violent. On Oct. 26, they reportedly punched a 37-year-old woman in the face at the corner of 34th Avenue and 103rd Street and tried to grab her necklace.
The most recent theft happened last Monday near Penrod Street and Otis Avenue. One witness saw the pair approach a 48-year-old woman and pulled her necklace off.
"I saw two guys on a motorcycle, when I came here, this corner, saw one in the back," said Niria Martinez. "Yes, I was very scared. I said what happened... she was sad, she wasn't panicked."
Police put out a picture of the two men on the scooter. As for Montiel, she now says she doesn't walk alone, only with groups of friends.
"I mean, it's scary to go out on the streets," she said. "It's really traumatizing."
She says even if the man are caught, she still won't feel safe.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
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