The NYPD arrested a crook who robbed two people at gunpoint in Central Park in the past week.
34-year-old Andrew Thorton, of Auburn, Alabama, was arrested on May 6. He was charged with two counts each of robbery, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon.
According to police, at 8:25 a.m. on April 30 a 55-year-old man walked into Central Park at the 72nd Street and Central Park West entrance when he saw an unknown man sitting on the ground at the park entrance holding a small sign depicting “Bike for sale $75.” The unknown man asked the victim if he wanted to buy the bike, to which the victim said no.
The suspect then asked the victim for $5, which the victim declined again and began to walk further into the park. He sat down on a bench at the 72nd Street and 5th Avenue exit when he saw that the suspect had followed him and was now standing in front of him. The crook then pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol and demanded money from the victim.
Fearing for his life, the victim complied and handed over $1,000. The suspect then fled the scene on a black bicycle northeast towards the Conservancy Pond.
The suspect struck again on May 4. At 3:55 p.m. that day, a 67-year-old woman was walking westbound on the west path near Swan lake inside of Central Park when she was approached by the suspect, who was riding a black bicycle. The suspect stopped her, pulled out a gun and said, “I need to take your purse.”
The victim asked if she could keep her phone, to which the suspect said no. Fearing her safety, the victim handed over her purse, which contained two credit cards, an iPhone 10, eye medication and approximately $200 dollars. The thief then fled the scene on the bike northeast on the west path towards 5th Avenue.
Police recovered the victim’s cellphone near the scene using the “Find My iPhone” app. No injuries were reported as a result of either incident.
The NYPD had released a photo as well as a police sketch of the suspect.
Updated at 9:15 a.m. on May 7