Everyone Loves New York’s Bomb-Thwarting Hero Thieves

"This is why terrorists will never beat New York"

"New NYC safety motto: 'If you see something...steal it.'" — REUTERS
Sep 19, 2016 at 12:51 PM ET

Update: On Wednesday, the FBI released images of two men they’re seeking for questioning. The posting says the pair are believed to have removed an explosive from a suitcase in Chelsea on Saturday night, leaving the bomb behind and taking the luggage.

A pair of petty New York City thieves are quickly becoming internet-ordained heroes amid reports that the duo inadvertently helped crack the Chelsea bombing case.

Social media users erupted in celebration after DNAinfo reported that a pair of well-dressed suspects accidentally disabled one of two pressure cooker bombs left in the Manhattan neighborhood on Saturday. Citing police sources, the news website said that the bandits had removed the bomb from inside a rolling suitcase left on West 27th Street, dumped the explosive into a garbage can, and walked off with the boosted bag.

“This is why terrorists will never beat New York,” quipped Daniel Niemi, echoing the tongue-and-cheek praise heaped upon the alleged thieves by dozens of other Twitter users.

The celebration offered a brief spell of levity following nearly two days of tumult that spanned both sides of the Hudson River. A second bomb detonated in Chelsea Saturday night, injuring 29 and sending law enforcement scrambling to find possible ties to terrorist groups. Meanwhile, a separate explosion rocked Seaside, New Jersey on Saturday morning without injuring anyone. On Sunday night, police discovered a stash of pipe bombs near the train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

A fierce manhunt for a suspect in the Chelsea bombing, Ahmad Khan Rahami, began on Monday morning. He was reportedly captured following a shootout with authorities in Linden, New Jersey several hours later in which he injured two police officers, neither seriously.