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Swedish tourists robbed, set off manhunt for suspect in midtown

Police escort the suspect in an alleged hotel

Police escort the suspect in an alleged hotel burglary into an ambulance after he passed out during his arrest on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

Swedish tourists got a rude awakening when a man broke into their midtown hotel room and tried to allegedly rob them before fleeing, inciting a manhunt that ended in a struggle with police.

Viktor Lofgren, 24, arrived in New York on Monday evening with his 35-year-old friend and checked into the Wingate by Wyndham hotel on 35th Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues.

At about 7:30 a.m. he awoke to find a man hovering over his bed -- and his wallet, watch and cellphone missing, he said.

"I jumped on him and grabbed his arm," Lofgren said.

His friend then also woke up and noticed his own phone and wallet missing, Lofgren said. As Lofgren shook the suspect, demanding his stolen goods, the belongings fell to the ground, he said. He then threatened to call the police and the man panicked.

"'No, no. You can beat me up, do whatever you want,'" Lofgren said the alleged robber pleaded. "'Just don't call the police.'"

The tourists then chased the suspect from the 10th floor room down to the second floor, where they found someone who works in the hotel. The entire group followed the suspect outside and into the lobby of the building next door. But he got away.

The man then allegedly hid in the building for several hours, inciting a manhunt, until he was finally apprehended. A struggle inside the lobby ensued and the alleged robber fell onto ground at about noon. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, said an FDNY spokeswoman. (with Pete Catapano)


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