NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police were searching Thursday evening for a suspect who stole an envelope of cash from right out of a 93-year-old woman’s bra at an East Harlem clothing store.
The incident happened around noon Wednesday at Regine’s clothing store, at 176 E. 116th St., police said.
The suspect came up from behind the wheelchair-bound woman and took the white envelope containing $600 from the woman’s dress, according to police and the victim.
The suspect ran off west on 116th Street afterward, police said.
Speaking in Spanish, the woman, Maria Vasquez, described the despicable crime to CBS2’s Brian Conybeare.
She said she quickly called for her home health aide and store workers to run after the man, but the brazen suspect had already bolted out the door and disappeared.
Vasquez said when she was taking the money out of the bank at Banco Popular, she noticed a man watching her then that man apparently followed her and her aide as they went three doors down to buy a pair of sandals.
The store’s security cameras are very visible right near the entrances.
While no one from Regine’s would comment about what happened, customers were more than willing to voice their outrage at the suspect.
“I think that’s disgusting,” said Vearry Hale. “You got criminals out here that don’t care about anyone.”
“I think that’s terrible, but that’s what people do around here,” said Angelo Pizarro of East Harlem.
Vasquez said the man yanked her arm and scratched her chest when he grabbed the cash, but she was not seriously hurt.
She said that $600 in Social Security money was supposed to pay her rent and other bills, and now she is not sure what she will do.
But she certainly wants to see the suspect caught before he targets another victim.
The suspect was described as a Hispanic male about 35 years old, standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds with a light complexion and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a gray shirt, black sneakers, tan jeans, and a tan bag.
Anyone with information was asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS or (888) 57-PISTA for Spanish, log onto the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.