NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are investigating two separate robberies that happened just days apart this week in Central Park.
The most recent incident happened around 10 p.m. Thursday. Police said a 47-year-old man was walking along Center Drive around 66th Street when he was approached by two males, believed to be teenagers.
Authorities said they pushed the man to the ground, grabbed his wallet and cell phone from his jacket pocket and then ran off toward 72nd Street.
Two days earlier, police said a 43-year-old man was robbed at knifepoint on 81st Street and Transverse around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Sources told CBS2 the suspect choked the victim from behind while threatening to cut his face if the victim didn’t give something over, telling the man he didn’t care if he went back to jail.
That suspect, described as about 5’4″ tall and in his 20s, took $30 before fleeing, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
With such a heavy police presence during Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, some park goers say it was easy to forget the danger lurking in darkness.
“Yesterday, there were police all over the place and people were friendly, even the police were smiling,” said Patrick Charlebois from Montreal. “Everyone was happy. It was fun to be here and I felt pretty safe.”
“I don’t walk alone. I usually walk with my husband and I just don’t come out here after dark,” said Upper West Side resident David Salinas.
“Every year, I walk through the park alone or with my family,” said tourist Tom Root. “I feel totally safe.”
“I wouldn’t go here during the night time anyway,” said Ulla Erikson from Sweden. “I’m only here during daytime
According to the NYPD’s most recent crime statistics from Nov. 20, robberies in Central Park are down this year by 25 percent compared to this time last year. Overall crime in Central Park is down 13 percent.
Police do not believe the two robberies are related. They say neither victims were harmed beside some minor bruises. Anyone with information is urged to call police.