MANHATTAN — The NYPD is seeking a bearded bandit who has allegedly robbed cell phones, MP3 players, headphones, jewelry and wallets over a three-month robbery spree in the East Village and Gramercy Park.
The suspect flashed, or pretended to, a gun or knife in each of the 15 robberies, which all occurred at night or early in the morning, the NYPD said.
Cops believe the spree began May 5, when the suspect robbed a 59-year-old woman at gunpoint as they rode in an elevator at 205 Avenue C in the East Village. He snatched the woman's necklace and fled, police said.
Over the next 12 weeks, the robber struck on Roosevelt Drive, East 10th Street, East 13th Street, Grand Street, East Houston Street, Montgomery Street and East River Park, as well as on East 23rd Street in Gramercy Park.
The most recent hold-up happened on July, 27, when the suspect cornered two teens outside 801 E. 14th St. just before 10 p.m. With a hand in his pocket to simulate a weapon, the suspect first demanded a 19-year-old man's iPod, then brandished a knife and took a 16-year-old girl's iPhone — his youngest victim to date.
The suspect is described as being between 30 and 40 years old and standing between 5-feet-9-inches and 6-feet tall. He has a dark complexion, a thin mustache and a thin beard.
The photo released by police shows the alleged suspect wearing a plaid button-down shirt over a white T-shirt, a backpack and sunglasses on the top of his head. He also wore a gray hooded sweatshirt, gray pants and black sneakers in some of the robberies.
Anyone with information about any of the incidents or the robber's identity or whereabouts is urged to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS. Members of the public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting tips to CRIMES (274637), then entering TIP577.