NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police Tuesday night were looking for a man wanted in connection with five robberies in Manhattan.
The suspect has been targeting dry cleaners and laundries on the East Side, starting at East 81st Street and going down to East 24th Street, police said.
In each incident, police said the suspect pulls out a knife and takes money from the registers. In a couple of cases, he assaulted people in the stores.
The suspect has struck at least five times since Feb. 22, police said.
Na Pahtiwit was the first victim, CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported. Pahtiwit said the suspect pulled out a knife and demanded money.
“I said ‘OK you want money, go get it’ and then I opened the drawer and gave it to him,” Pahtiwit recalled.
The man then forced her to hide in the back of the laundromat located at 217 East 26th Street. He got away with $300, Carrasco reported.
On Feb. 26, the suspect struck again at Alpine Cleaners on East 70th Street. He fled the scene with $200.
With the next two incidents he grew more violent, Carrasco reported.
On March 12, the man allegedly punched a woman and then stole $300 from Elegant Cleaners on East 24th Street.
Then on Thursday, police said he punched a 70-year-old woman in the face and threw her to the ground. Almost a week later, she remained hospitalized Tuesday night due to injuries sustained during the altercation.
The most recent robbery happened on Saturday at Lok’s Cleaners on East 81st Street. The suspect pulled a similar stunt, and got away with $500.
Police described the suspect as a black man, between 45 and 55 years old, 5’7″-5’9,” about 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark waist length jacket with a blue hoodie underneath, blue jeans and was carrying a small silver knife.
Business owners are hoping the brazen robbery is caught before he can strike again.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
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