Cops are searching for the serial subway robber they say shook down at least three unsuspecting straphangers since February.
According to police, the first incident occurred at around 7:40 a.m. on Feb. 18, when a 40-year-old man was standing at a MetroCard machine inside the 18th Street subway station in Chelsea. Authorities say an unknown man approached the victim from behind and swiped his cell phone from his pocket. Cops say the victim followed the perp to the staircase and demanded his phone back, at which time the assailant allegedly shoved the man and took $190 in cash from his pocket.
The thief fled onto a northbound 1 train and the victim refused medical attention.
Less than a week later, on Feb. 24, cops believe the same suspect approached a 24-year-old man who was exiting from the 36th Street subway station in Brooklyn from behind before placing his hand over the victim’s mouth and shoving a hard, unknown object against his ribs. The thief demanded the victim’s cell phone and ear pods. The victim, believing the perp to have a weapon, complied and was unharmed, and the perp fled in an unknown direction.
Then, at around 12:40 p.m. on March 4, police believe the same perp followed a 45-year-old man onto a northbound J train leaving from the Chambers Street subway station. The suspect allegedly began asking the victim about a camera he was holding when he placed a knife to his neck. A brief struggle ensued, and the thief snatched the camera from the man before fleeing off the train and into the Delancey Street-Essex Street subway station.
There were no reported injuries and the suspect remains on the loose.
Police, who released security camera footage of the suspect on Sunday, describe the assailant as a man with a beard that is approximately 6’5″ in height and 200 pounds. He is believed to be between 30 and 35 years old.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, on Twitter @NYPDTips.
All calls are strictly confidential.