City police are investigating a string of about a half a dozen assaults in which pedestrians were attacked from behind and robbed of everything from cash to cellphones.
"We want to alert the citizens that we are investigating a series of street robberies," Capt. Tim Miller said Friday.
Police suspect the same people are involved in most of the robberies that always involved two people surprising their victims from behind.
Most of the robberies occurred between 7 and 11 p.m.
In one assault, a pregnant hearing-impaired woman was punched in the face, knocked to the ground and robbed of her cellphone at Newberry Street and Dewey Avenue about 7:30 p.m. last Saturday, police confirmed. A relative of the victim told the Sun-Gazette that the woman was admitted overnight to Williamsport Medical Center "for observation."
Another assault victim was treated at the hospital for a wrist injury after he was "jumped from behind" near West Fourth and Elmira streets just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, police said.
Shortly after 10 the same night, another man was pistol whipped from behind in the 600 block of Pine Street.
Miller admitted that at this point, investigators have very little to work with because "the descriptions of the attackers given by the victims are very vague."
What police do know is that in most cases the assailants "are two black males, both about 6 feet tall, wearing beanie-style hats and dark clothing," Miller said.
However, a white male and a black male were involved in an attack that occurred in the 400 block of West Edwin Street, where a man carrying groceries was assaulted on the night of Dec. 17, police said.
"Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times," Miller said.
"While walking on the streets, sidewalks and other public places, avoid wearing headphones, ear plugs or using your cellphones, all things that can clearly divert your attention to your surroundings," Miller said.
"Avoid encountering large groups or teens or young adults. Attempt to move away or move to the other side of the street. If you believe you're in danger, call 911 immediately," Miller added.
Anyone who has any information about the robberies is asked to call police at 570-327-7529.
"It is very disturbing to have people preying on unsuspecting victims," Miller said.