The so-called ice-pick robber concentrated on women in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan and Co-op City in the Bronx. A tip led the police to identify John A. Martinez, 39, of the Bronx as a suspect. He was picked up at his mother’s house in Cliffside Park, N.J., for a parole violation on Saturday and transferred to New York, officials said.
The police charged him with robbery, grand larceny, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property.
The burly thief followed women into elevators, displayed an ice pick and demanded money, jewelry, phones and shopping bags, the police said. The first robbery occurred on Nov. 10; the last two were on Dec. 2.
Mr. Martinez was paroled in September after serving eight years of a 10-year sentence for first-degree robbery, according to Correction Department records. He also spent 10 years in prison on other robbery charges from 1991 to 2001, records show. He is expected to be arraigned on the most recent charges in Manhattan later on Wednesday.