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Chain snatcher hitting elderly

Bronx Times

Cops are on the hunt for a serial chain snatcher who has struck several times in Morris Park, targeting elderly victims.

Police at the 49th Precinct are warning potential victims to be mindful of their surroundings, as they work to capture the suspect.

The chain snatcher, described as a young Caucasian or light skinned Hispanic, has struck four times in the quiet residential nabe, targeting his elderly victims between 2 to 4:30 p.m. on local streets just off Morris Park Avenue.

In at least one case, he jumped into a light colored minivan driven by another suspect.

The pattern began Wednesday, April 10 as the suspect approached a woman walking her dog along Herring Avenue between Rhinelander and Morris Park avenues.

“He tries to grab her chain from her neck,” said 49th Precinct Captain Lorenzo Johnson. “She fights him, she falls to the ground, causing an injury.”

The next reported incident happened Tuesday, April 16, with the thief snatching a crucifix chain off a 70-year-old woman as she walked with a friend along Hone Avenue.

Just a half hour later, around the block in front of 1951 Lurting Ave., he grabbed two chains from a 93-year-old lady using a walker, then jumped inside a car driven by another suspect.

The next day, the thief eyed a 61-year-old woman’s necklace near the corner of Neill and Haight avenues, two blocks off Morris Park Avenue.

“The perp approaches her,” said Johnson, “engages her in a conversation, and takes the chain off her neck.”

The robberies have since stopped – for now.

The precinct’s detective squad is now canvassing the nabe during the same afternoon hours the thief struck, warning the elderly population and home health aides about the suspect.

“We increased the police presence in the six-block area, – both uniform and plainclothes,” said Johnson.

The thief was further described as between 16 to 19-years-ol, about five-feet-10 and with a thin build.

Anyone with information is being asked to call Detective Eric Rivera at the detective squad at 718 918-2038 or Detective Borough Bronx at 718 378-8083.

Squad commander, Sgt. Tawee Theanthong, urged folks around the neighborhood to keep their eyes open.

“Don’t display flashy jewelry,” he said, adding “Be aware of your surroundings.”

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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