By Sabina Mollot
Police are on the lookout for a mugger who targeted a 93-year-old woman as she was entering her building at 4 Peter Cooper Road.
According to the police report, which categorized the incident as a grand larceny, the woman’s purse was grabbed and the perp then fled on foot.
The purse snatching, in which the woman lost $90 and her IDs, took place on Friday, July 13 at 4:22 p.m., though the NYPD’s information was released this week.
When asked about the delay in publicizing the crime, one law enforcement source told T&V that the DCPI, which distributes public information about major crimes, doesn’t always get involved until a detective unit decides it isn’t going to catch a suspect on its own.
Meanwhile, a neighbor of the victim told Town & Village she heard that the purse-snatcher had been sitting a bench near 4 Peter Cooper Road and got up to follow the woman when she approached.
The neighbor, who asked that her name not be printed, said she had just come home just after the incident to find the victim, an original resident, talking to public safety officers.
She was unhurt but said she’d been robbed.
The victim, who uses a walker, then explained she’d had her head down while using her arm and leg to get the walker into the door. That’s when she saw a man’s hand come down and grab the bag from where it had been placed in a storage section in the walker. The man then ran off the grounds in the direction of 23rd Street. The neighbor said she stayed with the victim from the time she came home at around 4:46 p.m., when security had already come to her aid, to when police arrived, which wasn’t until around 5:25 p.m. The neighbor said she was the one to call police, after staying with the older woman for 15 minutes and learning that no one else had bothered to do so yet. During the victim’s conversation with public safety, the neighbor said a security officer told the resident she may have been followed from the Associated Supermarket on 14th Street. However, another resident who’d been sitting nearby disputed that, saying the man had actually been sitting near the building, too.
The victim described the perp as being dark-skinned, in his 40s and wearing a pink button down shirt and white pants.
“I thought that was an odd thing for a mugger to wear but I guess he wanted to blend in,” said the neighbor.
She added that in her building, a flier was put up about the mugging, but then promptly taken down.
“I don’t know if a tenant put it up,” she said.
Joe DePlasco, a spokesperson for ST/PCV, said public safety has been working closely with the Police Department on the situation, including providing video of the suspect.
In related news, Henry Huggins, who allegedly mugged two elderly residents in their Stuyvesant Town buildings last November, has a court appearance on Wednesday. Huggins, who’s been unable to make bail, is facing charges of “serial burglary,” according to a court schedule released by the Manhattan district attorney.