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Man in Black Follows Women into Buildings to Beat and Rob Them, Police Say

 Police are looking for a violent thief dressed in black who has robbed four women in the Lower East Side and Chinatown.
Police are looking for a violent thief dressed in black who has robbed four women in the Lower East Side and Chinatown.
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Anton K. Nilsson/DNAinfo

MANHATTAN — Police are looking for a man they say assaulted and robbed four women in the Lower East Side and Chinatown, usually striking as the victims entered their apartment buildings late at night.

The thief, who victims said dressed in black and wore a black knit cap, has stolen thousands of dollars from female victims by following them into their buildings and demanding cash while punching them or hurling them to the ground, police said. The incidents occurred between Feb. 17 and Feb. 28.

► The suspect first struck on Feb. 17 at 12:10 a.m. when he followed a woman into the lobby of her Catherine Street apartment building near Henry Street and said "Give me money, give me money," police said.

When the woman refused to hand over her purse and screamed for help, the thief punched her in the face, according to authorities.

The woman then opened her purse and handed $1,485 to her attacker, who fled in an unknown direction, police said.

► The suspect on Feb. 25 at 10:04 p.m. followed another woman into her Eldridge Street apartment building near Delancey Street and knocked her to the ground, yanking her purse from her hand, police said.

When the thief found only $50 in her wallet, he said "That's it?" and searched the victim for jewelry, but found none and fled in an unknown direction, according to authorities.

► The next night at 11:48 p.m., the suspect followed a 45-year-old woman into her apartment building on Ludlow Street near Hester Street and grabbed her from behind, slapping a hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming, according to a police report, and said "I know you have a wallet, give it to me."

The suspect threw the victim to the ground and punched her in the face several times, then demanded money again, police said.

He then snatched the victim's purse and pulled out roughly $550 before fleeing north on Ludlow Street, according to a police report.

The victim was left with injuries to her nose, jaw, and the back of her head, police said. She was treated by emergency medical responders and was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

► The suspect on Feb. 28 at 11 p.m. followed a 44-year-old woman into her Broome Street building near Stanton Street and approached her with his left hand shoved into his jacket pocket to simulate a firearm, according to authorities.

When the victim saw him, she screamed and sat on her stairs, at which point the suspect said "Shut up, shut up" and punched her in the face, police said.

He then said "Give me your money," prompting the victim to hand over her $300 brown Saint Laurent wallet that contained $400 in cash, police said.

The suspect is described as standing between 5-foot and 5-foot-6 and weighing 160 pounds, police said. One of the victims described him as having a large gap between his front teeth.

The investigation is ongoing, police said, and no arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.