NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The search is on for a rape and robbery suspect.
The suspect is wanted in a brutal, mid-Thursday afternoon attack where he followed a woman right to her Hamilton Heights apartment.
But what happened after may have left a key clue for investigators to follow.
Police said the brazen rapist, described as a black male in his 30s, was using his victim’s ATM card to score a stash of cash.
“It’s scary, you know, it’s a shame,” Hamilton Heights resident Stacey Milton told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
At around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, investigators said the attacker followed a 21-year-old woman into her Hamilton Heights building.
Police said the suspect forced his way into the woman’s second-floor apartment, claiming he had a gun. They said the man sexually assaulted his victim, and then grabbed her pocket book, credit cards, cell phone and iPod before fleeing.
The attack has left residents of the neighborhood on edge.
“Rapist walking around, there are criminals – you’ve got to be careful how you get in by yourself,” Yvonne Williams said.
“It really, really bothers me,” another neighbor said. “Of course, it’s very disconcerting to hear that, what happened here – in broad daylight!”
Shortly after the attack, the suspect, wearing a grey, hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, was caught by surveillance cameras at a nearby deli. Police said he was using his victim’s ATM card.
Jose Reyes lives in the victim’s building. Through a translator, he said he’s concerned for the safety of his neighborhood.
“He said that it’s tough because they grew up on this block and everybody knows everybody, so to hear that, somebody has to do something about it already,” the translator said. “I’m gonna be safe and whomever comes in behind me, if I don’t know where they’re going, I’m not going to let them in the building.”
If you know anything the whereabouts of this suspect, please call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.