Women over 60 and their purses target of uptown robber, NYPD says

Police tape. Photo Credit: iStock

The suspect has attacked three women and stolen their handbags, NYPD says.

Police tape.
Police tape. Photo Credit: Thinx

The NYPD is seeking a suspect responsible for a series of robberies targeting women over the age of 60 in East Harlem. 

On Sunday, Nov. 8, around 8 p.m., the suspect approached a 68-year-old woman on the third-floor landing of a residential apartment building on East 156th Street, put a knife to her neck and demanded her bag. He took $500 from her bag and fled. 

On Sunday, Nov. 15, around 3 p.m., the suspect followed a 64-year-old woman into the elevator in her apartment building on East 153rd Street. Upon exiting the elevator on the ninth floor, the suspect grabbed her and threw her to the floor. He sprayed her in the face “with an unknown liquid,” according to the NYPD and “struck her numerous times with a closed fist.” He then took her pocketbook, $50 in cash, a ZTE smartphone and fled. 

The most recent known incident occurred on Tuesday, Nov. 17, around 7:45 p.m. The suspect followed a 72-year-old woman into her apartment building on East 137th St. and rode the elevator with her to the seventh floor. As she exited, the suspect sprayed her in the face with an unknown substance and threw her to the floor. He took her purse and fled.

The NYPD says officers are asking the public’s assistance in locating a suspect identified as  Gilrael Ruperto, described as approximately 5-feet-6 and 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue Yankee baseball cap, a black waist-length jacket, blue jeans, and red sneakers. The suspect also has a tattoo on the back of his neck.

Anyone with information is asked to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-8477. 

Melissa Kravitz