NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police continued to search late Wednesday for a suspect who host stolen women’s purses and pocketbooks in restaurants and bars – sometimes from right under their noses.
As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, police believe they caught a serial thief on surveillance video. He struck 10 different times last month.
• Around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11, the suspect took a handbag with credit cards and an iPhone charger from a 63-year-old woman at 147 W. 43rd St.;
• Around 12:03 a.m. Sunday, June 12, the suspect took a handbag containing a driver’s license, wallet, credit cards, a hearing aid, and medication from an 81-year-old woman at 1515 Broadway;
• Around 12:25 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, the suspect took a black handbag that contained credit cards and reading glasses from woman at 5 Bryant Park;
• Around noon on Thursday, June 16, the suspect took a purse that contained a wallet, credit cards, and a metro card from a 40-year old woman at 108 W. 40th St.
• Around 1:10 p.m. Thursday, June 16, the suspect took a purse that contained cash, a Duane Reade prescription, a Kate Spade item, and mail from a 24-year old woman at 1400 Broadway;
• Around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16, the suspect took a pocketbook with cash and credit cards a 36-year old woman at 1000 Sixth Ave.
• At 1:33 p.m. Thursday, June 16, 2016, the suspect took a pocketbook with cash, credit cards, and identification cards, and a cashmere sweater, from a 40-year old woman victim at 230 Vesey St.;
• At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 19, the suspect took a handbag with cash, credit cards, an EZPass, a driver’s license, and keys from a 67-year old woman at 147 W. 43rd St.
• At 1:17 p.m. Sunday, June 26, the suspect took a handbag with cash, credit cards, Gucci glasses, a monthly MetroCard, and a driver’s license from a 42-year-old woman at 38 W. 39th St.
• Around 1 p.m. Thursday, June 30, the suspect took a black handbag with a camera and miscellaneous items from a 73-year-old woman 220 W. 42nd St.
“It was shocking,” said the manager of the Barilla restaurant in Bryant Park, one of the locations where the suspected thief struck.
“That’s scary to know that we don’t even realize it’s happening,” added Adela Tiburcio.
Surveillance video taken from the Bryant Park spot suggested that the suspect’s initial demeanor seems unassuming. He casually with his hand on his hip, and occasionally appears to look around to check out his surroundings.
Police said in the video, the suspect then deliberately drops his hat, bends over, and subtly moves a black bag on the floor closer to him.
Later, he slides a chair to the right – giving him a path to the black bag, which police said he ultimately stole.
The women around the suspect were seemingly oblivious to his presence. And the events left some women more than a little troubled.
“It’s definitely creepy,” one woman said.
“I guess it reminds you to be constantly vigilant,” another said.
The suspect was described as a white male and was last seen wearing a white pocket hat, a plaid shirt, tan slacks, brown loafers and glasses.
Police sources told CBS2’s Rapoport they are investigating the possibility that he might be working with an accomplice.
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.