Suspect sought in string of violent Manhattan robberies

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police have released new pictures of a violent serial robber they say is terrorizing workers at two businesses in Midtown and also robbed a synagogue.

One of the victims is now speaking out about the attack, as authorities say the crimes have gotten more violent as time has gone on.

Officials say the crime spree started August 14 with a burglary at the Millinery Centre synagogue on Sixth Avenue, during which the suspect made off with $500 in cash.

Police say he struck again in October at a building on West 40th Street, where he is accused of pushing and robbing a building maintenance man.

The victim, Cesar Moda, suffered a fractured elbow and said he's grateful the suspect didn't have a weapon. He fears others could be hurt if the suspect isn't captured soon.

"When I walked in, bam, he struck me down, bam, bam, bam," Moda said. "And then he ripped away my phone and my wallet. Then he went back the same way he came in."

The most recent incident was a violent chokehold robbery at Quality Meats on West 58th Street.

Authorities say a 35-year-old woman was punched in the face, choked and robbed of $400 in the manager's office.

All of the incidents happened in the middle of the afternoon.

"Our fear is like it is anytime with these cases, that if someone is there and interrupts, we could have somebody getting hurt," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. "We have very good pictures of this individual that we put out. Please give us a call so we can get him off the street as quickly as possible."

Police only have a vague description, but they're hoping that surveillance can help catch him.

The individual is described as a black male in his 30s, approximately 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds with a medium complexion, medium build, black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information in regard to this robbery pattern 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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