LOWER EAST SIDE — Police are looking for a man they say is forcefully ripping necklaces from women’s necks near the Rutgers and LaGuardia houses.
The first reported incident occurred on July 20 at around 3:03 p.m., as a woman was walking near 275 South St. while returning home from shopping, police said.
The suspect first tried to ride up behind the victim on his bicycle and snatch the necklace from her neck, but when he failed, he pedaled around to face the victim and knocked her to the ground, snatching the necklace before fleeing northbound on South Street, police said.
On Aug. 16 at around 4:10 p.m., the suspect was standing near the entrance to a victim’s building at Cherry Street near Montgomery Street when she returned home from shopping and followed her inside, police said.
The suspect then crept up behind the woman as she waited for the elevator and snatched the necklace from her neck, breaking the chain, police said.
The suspect on Monday targeted a home care attendant walking with her patient near 45 Pike St., according to authorities.
The thief approached the woman from behind and grabbed the necklace from around her neck, which the victim described as gold with a rose pendant, according to a police report.
The man then tried to take the woman’s purse, shoving her to the ground, before fleeing toward South Street, police said.
In a response to the pattern, police have increased patrolling in the area along Madison, Cherry, and South streets on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays between 3 and 6 p.m.
Police have released an image of the suspect, described as a man in his 20s or 30s with short hair.
Police say the man seems to be targeting middle-aged and elderly Asian women.