Police are looking for the crook who took a yellow cab driver on a ride from Midtown to Greenwich Village, then robbed him on Sunday afternoon.
Law enforcement sources said the trouble began at about 1 p.m. on Dec. 13, when the 51-year-old male driver picked up the suspect at the corner of West 44th Street and 9th Avenue. The perpetrator asked the cabbie to drop him off at the corner of East 13th Street and University Place, near Union Square.
Upon arriving at the location, cops said, the perpetrator suddenly changed his mind — and asked the driver to bring him to the corner of West 14th Street and 7th Avenue.
When they arrived there, authorities said, the suspect told the driver he had to run into a nearby location to get money from a friend. Cops said he then exited the cab and ran inside a convenience store at 200 West 14th St.
But when the suspect didn’t return to the taxi after a few minutes, police noted, the cab driver went inside the store looking for the man. He found the suspect, and both men then returned to the cab.
Once they got back inside the taxi, authorities said, the robber made his move on the driver — demanding his cash while displaying an unknown black object from his left pants pocket. Police said the victim complied with the request and handed over $80 in cash to the perpetrator, who took the money and ran out of the cab northbound along 7th Avenue.
The incident was reported to the 6th Precinct; the driver was not injured.
On Monday morning, the NYPD released images of the thief taken from inside 200 West 14th St. just before the cab driver was robbed. He’s described as a man standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds, with a medium build, a light complexion and gray hair.
Cops said he was last seen wearing a blue face mask, a black leather jacket, light blue jeans and white sneakers.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.