NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a suspect behind a months-long robbery spree targeting more than half a dozen elderly victims in the Bronx.
One of the brazen crimes was caught on camera last Wednesday in the Pelham Parkway section.READ MORE: Fans Attempt To Storm Entrance Of Barclays Center In Protest Of Nets Not Allowing Kyrie Irving To Play Due To NYC Vaccine Mandate
As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, photos with the word “predator” are plastered near Pelham Parkway South and Cruger Avenue. The community, fiercely protective of its seniors, is furious a serial robber is targeting the most vulnerable, like 90-year-old John Valenti.
“He grabbed me from the back, put his hands inside my pockets, pulled out the money and ran and that was it,” Valenti said.
Surveillance video shows an unsuspecting Valente checking for mail on September 22nd as a suspect sneaks up from behind and aggressively rifles through his pockets.
Valenti believes the suspect followed him home from the bank, where he had just withdrawn $200 for his monthly expenses.
“I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t anything like. I was angry with him,” Valenti said.
Police say the suspect is responsible for at least 7 robberies between May and September.
The victims all over the age of 65.READ MORE: Overnight Gun Violence: 3 Men Shot In Queens, Innocent Woman Shot In Brooklyn, NYPD Says
While Valenti was uninjured, victims in other cases were threatened with a knife and even knocked to the ground.
The suspect’s made off with thousands of dollars.
“Some of the elders, they don’t even want to put their money in the bank. They always want their money to be with them. So as such, when they rob them, it’s very, very sad,” said Dora Ansere.
“They take advantage of us,” said Bronx resident Louisa Estralla.
Neighbors who live and work in the area are spreading the word, determined to catch the suspect before he strikes again.
“That means we really have to take care of our guys, make sure they’re aware if they are in a community be careful and keep all your belongings secure,” said Khaleil Parkinson.
The suspect is described as a man in his 20s, with a medium build.
He was last seen wearing a red NY Yankees baseball cap, a white polo shirt, black pants, and dark colored New Balance sneakers.MORE NEWS: Suffolk Police: Ganessa Gordon, 18, Reported Missing In Brentwood
Anyone with information about the robbery spree is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.