The masked man is seen standing inside the entrance of a New York City apartment complex, police say, as a 68-year-old in a walker trudges past him.
It was April 12 at about 1 p.m. That’s when the unidentified suspect put the unsuspecting man in a chokehold, according to surveillance video obtained by Fox5. The disguised assailant dragged the man to a nearby staircase and rifled through his pockets, police say.
He stole $300 and the struggling victim’s cellphone before running away from the Bronx apartment complex in Morrisania, police alleged to Fox5.
The startling incident was captured in surveillance footage.
But police told NY1 that they don’t believe this is an isolated incident. Instead, officers suspect that the man who robbed the 68-year-old also robbed another man in the same apartment complex in February.
In that instance, a masked robber allegedly put a 48-year-old man in a chokehold and stole about $60 and a wallet that held multiple credit cards. That happened February 4 at about 1 a.m.
A resident of the apartment complex spoke to ABC7 and said it’s a risky place to live, even with a heightened police presence.
"This is a dangerous neighborhood, there are police in this neighborhood," the unidentified neighbor said. "They do their best to keep the building secure and clean and the doors locked, because sometimes the tenants can't keep the doors locked."
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS. The suspect is about six feet and was last seen wearing black sweatpants, multi-colored shoes, a red or orange hoodie and a black knit hat or balaclava, police say.
In another case, police say two women stole a veteran’s walker while he was inside eating breakfast. Monica Newcombe, 22, and Heather Lauro, 42, walked past the Black Forest Bakery in Lindenhurst, New York, and decided to steal the unsupervised walker outside.
Surveillance footage outside the bakery allegedly caught them in the act.
Richard Dixon, a 75-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, said he was “bent out of shape” by the discovery. But it didn’t take long for officers to arrest the women — Lauro turned herself in on Wednesday evening, police say, while officers found and arrested Newcombe at a house, according to CBS New York. Both face charges of petty larceny.
"I truly apologize," Newcombe said in an interview with News12 "Because it's an awful thing to do."