90-year-old man robbed in Manhattan elevator, man and woman sought

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, May 17, 2019
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Rob Nelson reports on the robbery in East Harlem.

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 90-year-old man was robbed inside the elevator of his apartment building in East Harlem, and police are hoping surveillance of the perpetrator will lead to an arrest.

It happened around 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, at the Morris Park Senior Home on East 124th Street and Madison Avenue, a NYCHA building for the elderly.

Benny Morales, who turns 91 Monday, was inside the elevator when a man and woman got inside and forced him against the wall.

They removed his wallet and fled with $300 in cash.

The pair is also accused of using his bank card at two locations.

Police released surveillance photos of the man and woman using the card at a Burger King on West 125th Street and the Shop Fair Supermarket on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.

Residents say the brazen robbery is just the latest example of failing security at the building, which has no cameras anywhere inside or out.

Also, they say they only have a security guard from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m., compared to the 24-hour security guard who was in place just a few years ago.

They say the lack of security is basically an invitation to criminals in the neighborhood.

Residents showed us their written complaints to NYCHA, some dated more than a year ago. But they say nothing has changed, and that's particularly scary for a building filled with elderly residents.

NYCHA officials issued a statement, saying, "The safety of our residents is paramount. We will continue to work with our elected, agency and community partners to find ways to enhance security measures."

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of these individuals is 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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