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'I Have Full-Blown AIDS,' Syringe-Wielding Thief Tells Duane Reade Workers

By Maya Rajamani | August 15, 2016 3:05pm
 The Duane Reade on East 52nd Street lost more than $1,000 in merchandise over the weekend, police said.
The Duane Reade on East 52nd Street lost more than $1,000 in merchandise over the weekend, police said.
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Getty Images/Chris Hondros

MIDTOWN — A thief wielding a syringe told employees of a Duane Reade "I have full-blown AIDS" and threatened to stab them while stealing more than $1,000 in merchandise on consecutive days over the weekend, police said.

During the first incident, on Saturday around 10:10 a.m., the suspect walked into the store at 49 E. 52nd St., between Madison and Park avenues, grabbed eight Aveeno lotions worth $122 and 35 shampoos and conditioners worth $318 off the shelves and tried to leave without paying, an employee told police. 

When the worker tried to prevent him from leaving him, the suspect pulled out a syringe and threatened to “stick anyone who tried to stop him," the NYPD said.

“I have full-blown AIDS — don’t try and stop me, or I’ll stick you,” the thief told the employee, police said.

He then fled westbound toward Madison Avenue, the NYPD said.

The next day, around 1:25 p.m., a man entered the same store and took 16 toothbrushes worth $144, 25 Pantene shampoo bottles worth $300, 16 Aveeno lotions worth $206 and four Colgate toothpaste tubes worth $24 off the shelves, police said.

When several Duane Reade employees tried to stop him, the suspect told them, “Try to stop me and I’m going to stab you with a syringe,” the NYPD said.

“I have full-blown AIDS,” he added before fleeing, according to police.

Police could not say whether it was the same suspect in both thefts.

They searched the area after the Sunday incident but couldn’t find him, the NYPD said.

The store lost a total of $1,114 in merchandise between the two incidents, police said.

A manager working at the Duane Reade  Monday declined to comment on the thefts.

In December, a man who threatened to stab an employee with an AIDS-infected syringe stole nearly $600 worth of items from a Duane Reade in Times Square, the NYPD said.