NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Monday were searching for a man who allegedly stole items from a Duane Reade drugstore in Midtown East last week, and threatened employees with hypodermic needles when he got caught.

The man was spotted around 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 23, at the Duane Reade at 949 Third Ave., police said. He was taking items off the shelves and putting them in his jacket pocket, police said.

When store employees confronted the man, he took hypodermic needles out of his pocket and said he had HIV, police said.

The suspect ran off with about $179 worth of merchandise, police said. No one was injured.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male with a black beard, standing about 5 feet 11 inches tall with a stocky build. He appeared to be between 30 and 35 years old, and was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, and work boots and carrying a white hard hat, police said.

Police have released surveillance images of the suspect.

Police believe this man took items from a Duane Reade drugstore in Midtown East, and threatened employees with hypodermic needles. (Credit: NYPD)

Police believe this man took items from a Duane Reade drugstore in Midtown East, and threatened employees with hypodermic needles. (Credit: NYPD)

Anyone with information was asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, log onto the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.

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