By Leslie Albrecht
MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — Police are on the hunt for a suspected mugger who knocked over and kicked a Columbia University student, then stole his iPhone and wallet in broad daylight.
A camera caught the thief as he trailed his victim, 21, along West 113th Street near Broadway — blocks from the Columbia campus — on Jan. 15 about 1:15 p.m., police said.
The suspected mugger allegedly tackled the student, snatched his iPhone and wallet, then ran east on West 113th Street, police said.
The suspected thief was described as a six-foot man in his 20s last seen wearing a wearing grey sweatpants with the word "CALI" on the left leg and a black sweatshirt with a red and black hood, police said.
Columbia University issued a security alert about the attack and urged students to use caution when talking on cell phones.
The warning comes as another thief has been striking Columbia's academic buildings and attempting to steal property, police sources told the New York Post.
The Jan. 15 iPhone mugging is similar to a series of cell phone thefts police saw last fall in the same area, but police said there's no link between the crimes.
Five men were suspected in several robberies, many in broad daylight, in September and October on West 110th Street, West 113th Street and West 116th Street near Broadway. The thieves knocked their victims to the ground and stole cell phones and wallets, police said.
Police arrested two men, 21-year-old Edgar Garcia and 22-year-old Malachi Cintron, both Bronx residents, in connection with those muggings, a police spokeswoman said.
Last July, a Barnard College student was knocked unconscious by an attacker who approached her from behind as she jogged in Riverside Park. The mugger stole the student's iPod.
Anyone with information about the Jan. 15 mugging can call anonymously to report information to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.