NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Manhattan woman was attacked and robbed while walking down the street, and every frightening moment was captured on camera.
It was broad daylight in Hell’s Kitchen when a 28-year-old woman walked East on West 51st Street.
She was yards from her apartment when a man approached her, put his arm around her and stopped her in her tracks.
That’s when police say he demanded she hand over valuables, threatening to slash her with a box cutter.
Seconds later, he reaches into her jacket, grabs her cell phone and runs off.
“If it can happen to her, it can to me or anybody. If I was walking down the street without my significant other, it could happen to me too,” said Harlem resident Jasmine Figueroa.
Figueroa, 22, walks to work. Most days she’s solo as she passes the spot of the mugging between 9th and 10th avenues.
Now her boyfriend Percy plans to walk with her every day.
“Hopefully they find him, whoever did this to this lady. They need to go down,” Percy Roundtree said.
“That’s pretty crazy. I never really have heard of anything happening around here, especially next to the church,” said neighbor Chris Mark.
“I grew up here my whole life. It’s definitely changed. I do not feel safe anymore. Honestly, I felt safer in the ’80s,” a woman named Meaghan said. She’s the mother of two young children. She’s now considering moving them out of this neighborhood.
“I just feel like crime is up more. I mean they say it isn’t, but that’s BS,” she said.
According to the NYPD, robberies in the city are up 32% so far this year.
The victim was unharmed in this incident.
During an earlier report by CBS2’s Tara Jakeway, viewers called in saying they thought they spotted the suspect behind her. CBS2 alerted the police, who ruled the man out.
Police say they believe the suspect is a student, possibly in his 20s.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.