Police believe one man is responsible for smashing 42 LinkNYC kiosks during the past week. New video released by the NYPD shows the vandal approaching one kiosk with a brick in broad daylight and throwing it at the "payphone of the future"—shattering the screen over the camera. An NYPD spokesperson told Gothamist the suspect had a white "I Love NY" tote bag in at least one incident.
The trail of vandalized LinkNYC kiosks runs beyond the West Village and Chelsea all the way up into Midtown Manhattan: Police say the incidents occurred in the 6th, 10th, 13th, Midtown South and Midtown North Precincts, between April 16th and April 23rd.
It's believed the suspect, who is wanted for criminal mischief, used "bricks or other blunt objects" to damage 42 WiFi kiosks located throughout Manhattan. He is described as having a beard and was last seen wearing a long sleeved blue T-shirt, dark pants with a white stripe and gray sneakers.
LinkNYC kiosks were first installed in 2016, to help replace payphones, and offer free WiFi, free domestic calling, and USB ports to charge phones. They also showcase ads (in addition to city facts and events) and have been referred to a "data harvesters," prompting questions about Big Brother and hypnotic forms of protest.
Anyone with information in regard to the identity of this male is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips.