NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — In the blink of an eye, during broad daylight, women at ATMs are being targeted and robbed of whatever money they’ve just taken out.
Police are asking everyone to be on alert after the latest robbery that took place just steps from Columbus Circle at noon on Monday.
“I probably wouldn’t come back here if that happened to me honestly,” Midtown employee Rachel Rajpaul told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
Police said the suspect snuck up behind women, told them he had a gun, but never showed one, then demanded their dollars at a Chase Bank in Chelsea and again at a Citibank in Columbus Circle.
“It kind of worries me that you can get robbed at the ATM machine,” Manuela Middleton said.
Security cameras captured an image of the suspect, who’s choosing nice neighborhoods.
Police described the suspect as a black male about 5’10”-6’0” tall, weighing 160 pounds with salt and pepper hair.
“In fact, I would suspect it more here. You know, I would suspect it in an area where people have things because if you’re in a poor neighborhood, you’d assume people aren’t taking out tons of cash, or don’t have a lot of cash on them,” Christine Kajetzke said.
While police aren’t saying how much the thief has gotten away with, some wonder how the robberies happened in the middle of the day.
“I would have thought there would be at least some sort of maybe security guard around here,” Liz Bierut said.
While there are the obligatory warnings of how to prevent this from happening, there’s also the reality of coughing up the cash when one is told there’s a gun ready to go off.
“I wouldn’t blame myself at all for doing the same thing she did and not feeling guilty about it because I would never put myself at risk like that. You want it, take it,” Laura Conahan said.