Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a purse snatcher targeting elderly women in Brightgon Beach.
Police say a man in his late teens or early 20s, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-9, with a light to medium build, has been preying on women between the ages of 61 and 77, sneaking up behind them and grabbing their purses — sometimes after following his victims into their buildings. His frail targets also suffered minor injuries in the attacks.
The NYPD has released a surveillance photo of the suspect obtained during his first strike, inside a building on Brighton 3rd Street. In some of the later incidents he reportedly wore a white scarf that obscured his face.
Police believe the suspect has struck at least four times in Brighton Beach, within the 60th Precinct:
• On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the suspect followed a 62-year-old woman into an elevator inside of a Brighton 12th Street building between Corbin Place and Oceanview Avenue at 3 pm. The victim heard the suspect say, “It’s freezing out here,” before he snatched the purse from her shoulder.
• On Friday, Jan. 24, the suspect followed a 75-year-old woman into a Brighton Third Street building between Brighton Beach Avenue and Bridgewater Court at 2:30 pm, running up behind the victim, before yanking the purse off her shoulder.
• On Saturday, Jan. 25, at about 9 pm near the corner of Neptune Avenue and Brighton Third Street, the suspect grabbed a 61-year-old woman’s purse and fled.
• On Wednesday, Jan. 29, shortly before noon near the corner of Brighton 2nd Street and Brighton Second Lane, the suspect grabbed a 77-year-old woman’s purse and fled.
A more recent incident that may be by the same attacker occurred on Feb. 5, only this time the attack occurred in Manhattan Beach, within the neighboring 61st Precinct.
The 79-year-old victim told police that she was on Beaumont Street near Hampton Avenue at 3 pm, when the mugger approached and grabbed her hand bag, before making his escape.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577–TIPS. The public can also submit their tips through the Crime Stoppers Website at www.nypdcr
All calls are strictly confidential.