Cops: Daring Thief Hits Upscale Homes, Shops, Gets In From Higher Floors

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search is on in Manhattan for a well-dressed burglar accused in a string of crimes on the Upper East Side. The stylish suspect, also known as the “Couture Criminal,” has struck five times over the past two months, according to the NYPD.

He is not to be confused with the well-dressed groper, who has been roaming the city’s streets and subways, touching women, and then running away.

The bandit appears to be a classic second-story man, going through windows, balcony doors and skylights, when residents are out of town or just not home.

He usually strikes swanky locations – apartments and shops. One target was on East 62nd Street, where a top-floor apartment from was entered from the rear and gold jewelry taken, police said. CBS 2’s John Slattery spoke to a neighbor of the female victim on Thursday.

“She said someone came in when they were gone and there were hand prints on the wall or something,” Andreas Knezevic said.

Right behind that address is a high-end men’s clothing store. According to police, entry was gained from a low roof next door, then onto a fire escape and up

On the roof, a door was pried open.

“I’m sure this guy is a professional. He must be able to open without a key,” victim Enrique Costante said.

The thief went straight to for the cash drawer, police said.

“Few hundred, $500,” store owner Antonio Tincati said when asked what was stolen.

The locations the thief has hit are located on East 59th to East 64th streets, police said. At one home on East 63rd, a living room was entered from the roof. He ripped off laptop and jewelry. The female victim denied an interview with Slattery.

At a nearby stately home, a second-floor apartment was entered through a balcony. A number of watches were then stolen, police said.

Also, a residence above an antique store was hit through a skylight. A camera, laptop and jewelry were lifted.

“He or these people obviously have access to our roof,” victim Carlos Del La Puente said. “They knew what they were doing. They had tools and had to cut through a thick copper sheet to get to the glass.”

Police are hoping someone will recognize the thief, who is described as a black man, 25 to 30 years old, with a large build, well dressed, wearing a dark overcoat, dark suit and gloves.

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