A mugger has been terrorizing the streets of Manhattan with at least 15 knifepoint robberies over the past month — in some cases holding the blade to the necks of his terrified victims, cops said Thursday.
Police released new video showing the creep, clad in all black and briefly pulling down his ski mask at one of the crime scenes in the hopes that the public could help identify him.
“These are street robberies and commercial robberies combined,” Chief of Detectives James Essig said at an unrelated press conference at NYPD headquarters.
“[He] displays a knife, demands money and in some instances displays the knife and uses physical force or places the knife to our victim’s neck.”
Essig said the robber has mostly struck in Midtown and on the Lower East Side.
“We want to catch this guy before something worse happens,” Essig said.
The first reported incident happened on Oct. 24 when the suspect approached a 71-year-old victim around 8 p.m. at 60 West 12th Street in Greenwich Village and displayed a knife and demanded cash, cops said. The robber fled when the victim didn’t comply.
Then, around 5 a.m. on Oct. 25, the robber approached a 50-year-old man outside 229 West 43 Street in Midtown, “placed a knife to the back of his neck and demanded money,” according to cops. The victim handed over $40 before the robber fled on West 43rd Street.
The next day, on Oct. 26, at around 11 p.m. the same suspect is believed to have held a knife to the neck of a 59-year-old man at the corner of West 37th Street and Sixth Avenue, cops said.
The robber then reached into the victim’s book bag and took his wallet, which contained credit cards, before fleeing south on Sixth Avenue.
A little later the same night, the suspect is believed to have approached a 57-year-old man in front of 120 West 39th Street. He “placed a knife” to the front of the victim’s neck and demanded money, cops said. The robber got $80 before fleeing westbound on West 39rd Street.
Two days later, on Oct. 28, around 4:40 p.m. the robber entered a Subway restaurant at 1400 Broadway, held a knife to the neck of a 47-year-old female employee, cops said. He removed $600 from the register.
The last incident reported in the spree happened around 9:45 a.m. Nov. 1 when the robber demanded money at knifepoint from a 63-year-old man inside Peoples Place Gourmet Deli at 1391 Second Avenue, cops said. The suspect got away with $600 from the register.
There were no injuries reported in any of the incidents, cops said.
“We don’t want him to use that knife,” Essig said. “It’s horrible enough that he’s placing that knife to somebody’s neck and removing their property.”
Anyone with information in regard to the incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips.