Police are looking for a thief who has targeted Asian women on the Lower East Side and Chinatown in a series of attacks over the past couple of weeks. Investigators believe four recent incidents can all be tied to the same man.
–The first attack happened Feb. 17, just after midnight, when the suspect followed a woman into an apartment building on Catherine Street near Henry Street. The suspect demanded money, but when the woman wouldn’t give him her purse and began to scream for help, the suspect punched the woman. She then handed over almost $1500 in cash.
–On Feb. 25, at around 10 p.m., another woman was followed into a building on Eldridge Street, near Delancey Street. The suspect pushed his victim, forcing her to the ground, and taking her wallet. He stole $50.
–On Feb. 26, a few minutes before 10 p.m., the suspect followed a woman into an apartment on Ludlow Street near Hester Street. Police say he grabbed her from behind and held his hand over the woman’s mouth to stop her from screaming. The woman was pushed to the ground and punched in the face before the suspect took more than $400 from her purse. The victim was treated at a local hospital for facial injuries.
–On Feb. 28, at about 11 p.m., the man followed a woman into a building on Broome Street at Stanton Street. The victim screamed for help and the man punched her in the face and demanded money. She handed over a wallet containing $400 in cash.
Victims have reported that the man is dressed in black and wears a black knit cap. He’s described as 5-foot-five and 160 pounds. He may have a gap between his front teeth. Police are looking for surveillance video of the man.
UPDATE 1:36 p.m. The 7th Precinct has released more details about these crimes. The suspect is described as a black male, between 5-feet tall and 5’6”. He weighs about 160 pounds and appears to be between the ages of 30-40. From the four police reports (the first two incidents happened in the 5th Precinct:
#005-740 – 02/17/17 (FRIDAY), 0010 HOURS. Catherine St C/V ENTERING APARTMENT BUILDING, UNKNOWN PERP, M/B/35, 5’10″, 170 LBS, FOLLOWED C/V INTO LOBBY. PERP STATED, “GIVE ME MONEY, GIVE ME MONEY”. C/V REFUSED AND HELD ON TO HER PURSE AND SCREAMED FOR HELP. PERP PUNCHED C/V IN FACE. C/V THEN OPENED PURSE AND HANDED $1,485 USC TO PERP. PERP FLED IN UNKNOWN DIRECTION.
#005-877 – 02/25/17 (SATURDAY), 2204 HOURS. ELDRIDGE ST. C/V WALKING N/B ON THE WEST SIDE OF ELDRIDGE ST TO HER BUILDING. C/V ENTERING APARTMENT BUILDING, UNKNOWN PERP, M/B/30S, 5’6″, 160 LBS, WEARING A BLACK KNIT CAP, DARK JACKET, DARK PANTS AND A SILVER NECKLACE, FOLLOWED C/V INTO LOBBY. PERP KNOCKED C/V TO THE GROUND AND YANKED HER PURSE FROM HER LEFT HAND. PERP REMOVED WALLET FROM PURSE, AND REMOVED $50 FROM WALLET. SEEING NO MORE MON-EY, HE STATED, “THAT’S IT?”. HE THEN CHECKED C/V FOR JEWELRY. FINDING NONE, HE FLED IN UNKNOWN DIRECTION.
#007-842 – 02/26/17 (SUNDAY), 2148 HOURS. LUDLOW ST. C/V WALKING HOME FROM CANAL ST VIA BOWERY TO DIVISION AND N/B ON LUDLOW. C/V ENTERING APARTMENT BUILDING, UNKNOWN PERP, M/B, 5’5″, THIN BUILD, WITH A LARGE GAP BE-TWEEN FRONT TEETH, WEARING A BLACK JACKET, BLACK SKI CAP, AND RED/BLACK SCARF, FOLLOWED C/V INTO LOBBY. PERP GRABBED C/V AND SAID, “I KNOW YOU HAVE A WALLET, GIVE IT TO ME”. PERP THREW C/V TO THE GROUND AND PUNCHED HER IN THE FACE SEVERAL TIMES. PERP ASKED FOR THE WALLET AGAIN, AND C/V PULLED IT OUT AND HANDED PERP $400 USC. C/V TOOK THE MONEY AND FLED IN UNKNOWN DIRECTION. PERP LEFT HIS SCARF BEHIND.
#007-871 – 02/28/17 (TUESDAY), 2300 HOURS. BROOME ST. C/V ENTERED BUILDING AND WALKED TOWARD STAIRS. UN-KNOWN PERP, M/B/45-55, 5’0″-5’2″, 165 LBS, CLEAN SHAVEN, WEARING ALL BLACK CLOTHING AND BLACK WINTER HAT, AP-PROACHED C/V. C/V SAT DOWN ON STAIRS AND SCREAMED. C/V STATES THAT PERP HAD LEFT HAND IN LEFT JACKET POCKET, SIMU-LATING A FIREARM. PERP STATED, “SHUT UP, SHUT UP”, AND PUNCHED C/V IN THE FACE. PERP THEN STATED, “GIVE ME MONEY”. C/V REMOVED HER WALLET FROM HER PURSE AND HANDED IT TO THE PERP. C/V STATES THAT WALLET CONTAINED APPROXIMATE-LY $400 USC AND CREDIT CARDS. PERP TOOK WALLET AND FLED IN UNKNOWN DIRECTION.