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Police Say Suspect In Lower Manhattan Robbery Spree Targets Women

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Surveillance footage of robbery suspect (credit: DCPI)

Surveillance footage of robbery suspect (credit: DCPI)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police say they’re searching for a suspect who’s targeting young women in Manhattan. They said he is armed and dangerous, and that he picks his victims carefully.

Police say a man, who has been caught on surveillance cameras, has robbed five women in the last three weeks, stealing wallets and cell phones. In at one incident, he held up a victim at knifepoint.

Women who are just learning of the threat say it’s terrifying.

“It’s really scary because I never would have imagined someone doing something like that around here,” East Village resident Sophia Taboaba told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

WCBS 880’s Stan Brooks reports: Woman Not Worried About Being Robbed 

Police say the attacks happened between May 12 and May 15, striking first on East 18th Street then jumping around three more times and finally robbing a 5th woman on Wall Street.

In each case, police say the attacker targeted women in their mid 20s or early 30s.

The say he is unpredictable, sometimes preying on his victims late at night, sometimes as early as 1am and twice, in the mid-morning.

“I hope the police get more active then and be outside a little more,” said Grammercy resident Michelle Spiezia.

The attacks haven’t all been clustered in the same neighborhood but they do have something in common. All are near subway stations.

“That’s something you do not want to hear on the way to work,” saidValley Stream resident Laura Vasquez.

“I usually don’t really pay attentiong because it’s so secure around here,” Taboaba said. “I’m going to be more careful now.”

Police didn’t have the name of the suspect, and only grainy pictures to go on, but they’re hoping that will be enough to catch the suspect before he strikes again.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted on the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.

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