NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An intense search is underway for a man police said went on a violent robbery spree in Central Park.

Police have released a sketch of the man who is wanted for two robberies that occurred earlier this week at 74th Street and East Drive near the popular Boathouse restaurant.

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In each incident, the suspect put his victims in a chokehold, dragged them to the ground and took off with cash and credit cards, police said.

The first robbery happened just after midnight on Monday and the second around 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

The victims, who were both 47-year-old men, were shaken, but neither was seriously injured, police said.

Many parkgoers are concerned and on alert to defend themselves, CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported.

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“If I did not have my dogs, I would absolutely not go into the park alone at night,” said Upper East Side resident Pascale Gousseland. “It’s silly to take a risk.”

“At night there aren’t that many police here and people wander around,” said Upper East Side resident Vadislav Sandler.

“If it’s a chokehold, go for the knee, go for the groin, use your head,” said Central Park visitor Lauren Miller. “Do what you gotta do.”

“Coming into the park with a backpack at midnight is probably not the smartest move,” another man told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “I wouldn’t do it.”

The suspect was described as a black male about 6 feet 5 inches tall.

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

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