Police are searching for a New York City robbery suspect who was caught on surveillance footage brazenly stealing an envelope containing $600 in cash from an elderly wheelchair-bound woman.
The robbery occurred early Wednesday afternoon inside an East Harlem clothing store, when the thief pulled the envelope out of 93-year-old Maria Vasquez’s bra, according to The New York Post.
Clip via local CBS affiliate WCBS Channel 2 news.
The cash the thief made off with all the money Vasquez, a Dominican Republic native, has to live on for the rest of the month.
“I was scared. I wasn’t expecting it. He reached over and startled me, yanking the envelope from my bra,” she told The Post Thursday.
“He scratched me and took off running. I just screamed, ‘Run, run, he stole my money!’” she said. “I jumped in my chair because I was strapped in. There was nothing I could do.”
Vasquez was looking at her caretaker, Felicia Reyes, and didn’t notice the thief’sd approach.
“It was very fast. I didn’t even know what happened,” said Reyes. “The money was in her bra, since I cannot carry the money. She didn’t have a handbag.”
Vasquez, who lives just a few blocks away from the store, has been wheelchair-bound since suffering a stroke.
She said she had just chased her pension check at a bank and her caretaker put the money in her bra for safekeeping because she wasn’t allowed to carry the cash and Vasquez was wearing a dress with no pockets.
“He must have seen me in the bank and followed me. He had the intention to rob me,” Vasquez told the Post. “I just never would have imagined he would do that.”
Although she hopes the police catch the thief, she follows the dictates that God has forgiven him.
“Of course I forgive him. Just as Jesus Christ forgave. I pray God will bring him to justice.”
Here’s the raw surveillance footage of the crime.
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