Robber Cuts Himself in Attempt to Frame His Victim, Police Say
FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A box cutter-wielding thief — aided by his police officer-impersonating accomplice — attempted to rob a man at a Financial District ATM last week, but ended up slicing his own arm three times hoping to frame the victim, police said.
The strange incident began when the 38-year-old victim was approached by a man who claimed to be a police officer as he tried to get cash from a Wells Fargo ATM machine at 75 Broad St., at 6:30 p.m. on May 17, police said.
The impersonator took out what appeared to be a badge and demanded the victim take his ATM card and get into a car with him that was waiting outside of the bank, according to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
When the man refused, the robber hit his face, then quickly made a phone call and the second thief, carrying a yellow box cutter, walked into the bank.
The thief with the weapon demanded the victim give him his PIN number, saying “Give me the money or I’ll kill your wife and children in Egypt,” police said. When the victim didn’t budge, the robber then told him, “I’ll cut myself, and you’ll go to prison for it.”
The mugger then proceeded to slice his own left arm three times before calling 911, telling the operator that the victim assaulted and sliced him.
As police arrived at the scene several minutes later, the impersonator fled, while the other robber tried to pin the incident on the victim. The victim, however, stuck to his story — which was confirmed by surveillance video.
Police arrested, Amro Abdelhalim, 36, and he was charged with one count of first-degree robbery, one count of first-degree coercion and one count of unlawful imprisonment. He faces up to 25 years in prison for the top charge, robbery.
Abdelhalim required 37 stiches to close his wounds, according to the complaint. Contact information for his lawyer was not immediately available. He's due back in court on May 23.
Police were still searching for the accomplice as of Tuesday.
Other incidents in this week’s crime blotter:
► A man had his $6,000 Vespa stolen from outside of 490 Greenwich St., police said. The 40-year-old victim told police that he parked his car at 7:30 a.m. on May 13, and when he returned, at 7:30 a.m. on May 15, it was missing.
► A woman had her $170 Longchamp bag stolen as she drank coffee and listened to music on her iPhone at Starbucks on May 18 at about 3:45 p.m., police said. The 25-year-old told police that after sitting for about 30 minutes at the 120 Chambers St., coffee shop, she realized her bag, which contained a $150 Badgley Mischka wallet and $260 in cash, was missing from the chair next to her.
► Five men stole $1,055 worth of shorts and pants from boutique Robin's Jean at 60 Grand St., at about noon on May 13, police said. As one man acted as lookout, the four others grabbed four pairs of Robin's Jean shorts, worth $290 a piece, and one pair of yellow pants, also priced at $290, before running out of the store.