Woman sexually assaulted, robbed by man who pushed his way inside Manhattan apartment: NYPD

Thursday, December 31, 2020
KIPS BAY, Manhattan (WABC) -- A manhunt is underway in Manhattan after a 27-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and robbed by a man who forced his way into her apartment late Thursday morning.

It happened on East 30th Street in Kips Bay at 11:57 a.m., when authorities say the woman opened her door to the stranger, perhaps expecting a delivery man.

Instead, he pushed his way inside and sexually assaulted her before fleeing with her credit card, police say.

He was described as being around 6 feet tall and in his 20s, wearing a cream colored sweatsuit and a navy jacket.

There was a large police presence at the scene.

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Women who live nearby say the pandemic has changed the neighborhood and made it feel less safe.

"The neighborhood here in Gramercy and also Kips Bay has become a free-for-all," neighbor Rita Capozzi said. "Many homeless people and deliveries are very sketchy."

Capozzi said there's been an increase in package thefts, and people sneaking into buildings, with the neighborhood seeing lot less business and foot traffic.

"There's less people, there's less visibility, there's less police patrolling," she said. "There's less of everything."

Chloe Smith and Lauren Betke are brand new to the area.

"We literally just moved from Queens," Betke said.

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"Scary, but I think we're going to be OK," Smith added. "Just going to be extra cautious now, look out for each other."

The victim was taken to a hospital to be checked out.

Police will be looking for any available surveillance video to help identify the suspect as they continue to look for forensic evidence at the scene.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents are asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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