Police have nabbed a homeless man who was sneaking up on taxi drivers in Manhattan and stealing cash from them while they were stopped in traffic, the NYPD said.
Bryant White, 50, was charged on Friday with a slew of offenses, including grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, attempted robbery and multiple counts of petty larceny, according to police.
The robberies began on June 28, when a man on a bike approached a yellow cab driver at Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street and grabbed $105 from the 58-year-old driver through an open window of the taxi, police said.
Since then, there have been six more incidents fitting the same pattern, according to police. All of the robberies happened in Manhattan while the driver was sitting in traffic or stopped at a light. Every time, a man on a bike reaches into an open window, grabs cash from driver’s breast pocket and takes off, police said.
White is being charged in some of the incidents, but police are still trying to connect him to with the rest, an NYPD spokeswoman said.
One of the robberies was caught on video. A surveillance camera recorded a man on July 25 as he reaches into the cab’s window and grabs cash from the driver near Park Avenue South and East 18th Street in Gramercy Park. The driver, after realizing what has happened, tries to take the cash back and the tussle ends with money landing on the ground. The suspect then hops back on the bike and flees the scene.
During a robbery on July 27, the man punched the driver in the face before taking $200, police said. He fled on foot, leaving his bike behind. The bike was later determined to be stolen, police said.
Nearly $650 has been stolen in total, according to police.
Before White’s arrest, Allan Fromberg, spokesman for the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, had said that the agency had “every confidence” that the NYPD would find the man behind the robberies.