Fact Check: NYPD Officers Did NOT Arrest Two Young People For Sleeping Near Times Square -- They Were Charged With Theft

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: NYPD Officers Did NOT Arrest Two Young People For Sleeping Near Times Square -- They Were Charged With Theft Theft Charges

Did "undercover NYPD" officers "arrest two young people for sleeping on the concrete blocks a short distance from Times Square"? No, that's not true: the persons in question were not trying to sleep in a noisy, well-lit area on top of concrete blocks. A spokesperson for the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information at the New York City Police Department (NYPD) says the suspects were arrested on various theft charges.

The claim appeared in a post and video on Instagram (archived here) published by dashcam_newyork on September 17, 2023. The post's caption says:

Undercover NYPD swarm and arrest two young people for sleeping on the concrete blocks a few blocks from Times Square. The NYPD has a track record of criminalizing homelessness and violently arresting the unhoused, especially in tourist hot spots.

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:


(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Wed Sep 20:16:05:59 2023 UTC)

The arrests shown in the video took place on September 14, 2023, at 10:58 p.m. EDT in front of the Target store at 237 West 42nd St., near Times Square, according to police. An NYPD spokesperson told Lead Stories in a September 20, 2023, email that the people arrested included one adult and one juvenile:

The suspects entered the above location and removed a victim's bag containing foreign currency, credit cards, personal documents and personal items without permission or authority to do so. The suspects were apprehended without incident and charged with Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Petit Larceny.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:

Follow us on social media

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion