The robbery happened Tuesday, November 7, in the lobby of an apartment building near East 169th Street and Prospect Avenue in the Morrisania section of The Bronx.
The victim, Abdoul Beh, told Eyewitness News he had just moved to the area from West Africa. He said he saved the money over time because he wanted to open a restaurant on the Lower East Side, mostly from the sale of his home in Guinea. He said he was unable to open a US bank account, which is why he was carrying the cash. He was on his way to pay construction bills related to the restaurant he is opening with a partner.
Just spoke with victim who lost $190,000 to robbers. He’s from Africa. Told me it was for a new restaurant, says thief left behind cell phone. Now in police evidence. https://t.co/DeFF84j3LF #ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/54SXDs49lY— Derick Waller ABC7NY (@wallerABC7) November 16, 2017
Authorities say a man in a black Adidas jacket walked up the stairs past Beh and grabbed his bag, dragging him up the stairs. An accomplice allegedly ran up from behind and tackled the victim, before snatching the bag and running out the front door.
Beh said one of the suspects dropped his phone, and police currently have that as evidence.
Beh wonders whether the attack was really random, because he says the suspect specifically asked him "where is the money?" and that it seemed like the suspects went right for the bag that had the money in it. But he said he did not know his attackers.
Beh is currently staying with his nephew in the Bronx, and he travels back and forth from Washington D.C. in the meantime.
Investigators are treating this as a legitimate robbery. Anyone with information should go to NYPDcrimestoppers.com, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, in Spanish at 1-877-57-PISTA or text their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIPS577.