Police were in front of Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town Friday, handing out pamphlets and warning residents about several robberies in the area even as they stepped up their search for a suspect who apparently had no qualms against striking in broad daylight.
The man dubbed the “Ice Pick Attacker” was captured on surveillance video, wearing a green jacket, sunglasses, hat, and seen hovering in front of an elevator, his location of choice to rob his female victims.
“Oh my goodness. That’s incredible,” said Gloria Clarke, who works in the neighborhood. “It’s scary because I used to let people in, more people who used to live in the building. No more. That’s it.”
Police said over the last three weeks, he’s robbed a total of six women in elevators, three in Co-op City in the Bronx and four in Stuy Town and nearby Peter Cooper Village.
The pattern is the same. In every case the suspect has followed a middle or older-aged woman inside an elevator and brandishes an ice pick or a knife as weapon before stealing their jewelry, shopping bags, cell phones, and cash.
The suspect was growing bolder. Both of Thursday’s attacks occurred within seven minutes of each other. And there were no fewer than three surveillance cameras in the lobby, including one right in the elevator.
“Because we have no doormen, and because for reasons unknown to me the doors are open, you can just walk in the building. I mean, they are just propped open,” said resident Martha Geissinger.
“He’s clearly undeterred by the light of day, the presence of kids, or even his own image sitting right in front him, right before he commits an attack,” said Councilman Dan Garodnick, (D-Manhattan).
Investigators said the suspect was about 6-feet-tall and 250-pounds with a close-cut beard.
“It’s a horrible feeling to be stuck in the elevator with a robber,” said Vivian Lynch, Stuyvesant Town resident. She wasn’t speculating. Years ago, she said she too was robbed in an elevator. “Even though your life is spared and you’re not harmed, the distress lasted me a very long time.”