QUEENS — A purse snatcher is targeting older women near a Forest Hills subway station — a pattern that comes on the heels of a string of iPhone robberies at a nearby subway station, cops said.
Police said the suspect struck twice within a two-week period, grabbing purses from the victims, who are over 70 and were walking on Queens Boulevard to and from the 71st-Continental Aves. subway station.
The first incident took place on Tuesday, June 4, around 9 p.m. The victim, who was on her way home, was talking on the phone, when the suspect walked up from behind and tried to grab her purse, said Capt. Thomas Conforti, commanding officer of the 112th Precinct, at a community council meeting Wednesday.
The victim fought with the attacker, who knocked her down before stealing her purse, Conforti said.
The second incident occurred on Monday, June 17, at 7 a.m. when the victim was on her way to the subway station.
“It’s a disturbing trend because he is definitely targeting females in that area coming to and from the train station,” Conforti said.
Conforti described the suspect as between 20- and 30-years old.
A separate string of iPhone thefts has emerged at the 67th Avenue subway station in Forest Hills, cops said.
On Tuesday, May 14, around 12:30 p.m., a 37-year-old woman was riding on the M train looking at her iPhone. When the train pulled into the station and the doors opened, the suspect grabbed her phone and fled, cops said.
Then on Thursday, June 6, the attacker trie to snatch an iPhone from the hands of a 20-year-old woman, cops said.
But the victim fought with the suspect, who smacked her head on the train door, grabbed her phone and MetroCard and fled, according to the NYPD. The victim refused medical aid, cops said.
The suspect used her MetroCard a couple of hours later at the Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue station, cops said.
Cops described the suspect as a 16- to 17-year-old man who is around 5-feet-10-inches tall and weighs about 150-160 pounds.
Anyone with information in regards to either of these robberies is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.