NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have arrested a man they say has been robbing people at gunpoint in Central Park.
Police say he first struck on April 30, and then again Tuesday.READ MORE: Police Searching For Driver After Man Seriously Hurt In Queens Hit-And-Run
In the first incident, police said a 55-year-old man noticed the suspect near the 72nd Street and Central Park West entrance with a sign that said “Bike for sale $75.”
The suspect asked the man if he wanted to buy his bicycle. When the man declined, the suspect asked him for $5.
The man walked away, but a short time later realized the suspect had followed him and was standing in front of him.
That’s when police said the suspect pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol and demanded money. The victim handed over approximately $1,000, and the suspect took off on a black bicycle toward Conservancy Pond.
Then on Tuesday, police said the suspect held up a 67-year-old woman who was walking on a path near Swan Lake. He allegedly pulled out a gun and said, “I need to take your purse.”
The victim initially asked if she could keep her phone, but ultimately handed over her bag, containing an iPhone 10, two credit cards, approximately $200 and eye medication.
Police said the suspect rode off on the black bike toward Fifth Avenue.READ MORE: Puerto Rican Day Parade Goes Virtual For 2nd Straight Year
No one was hurt in either incident.
Thursday evening, police announced they had arrested 34-year-old Andrew Thornton, of Alabama, in connection to the incidents.
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According to police, an officer conducted a canvas near Strawberry Fields on Thursday morning and noticed a bicycle that possibly fit the robbery pattern. He then saw Thornton, who was wearing a red hat like the one the suspect was seen wearing in surveillance photos.
Thornton was then taken into custody.
Police say they searched the area and founded a loaded firearm.MORE NEWS: NYPD: Mother Throws 4-Week-Old Daughter, 2-Year-Old Son Out Window Before Jumping Out Herself
Thornton has been charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing. Further charges are pending.