Police are searching for a man who is sneaking up on taxi drivers in Manhattan and stealing cash from them while they’re stopped in traffic, the NYPD said.
The robberies began on June 28, when the suspect approached a yellow cab driver while riding a bike at Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street and grabbed $105 from the 58-year-old driver through an open window of the taxi, police said.
Since then, there have been six more incidents fitting the same pattern, police said. All of the robberies happened in Manhattan while the driver was sitting in traffic or stopped at a light. Almost every time, the suspect reaches into an open window, grabs cash from driver’s the breast pocket and takes off on a bike, police said.
One of the robberies was caught on video. A surveillance camera recorded the thief in action on July 25 as he reaches into the cab’s window and grabs a wad of cash from the driver near Park Avenue South and East 18th Street in Gramercy Park. The driver, after realizing what has happened, tries to take the cash back and the tussle ends with an explosion of money landing on the ground. The suspect then hops back on the bike and flees the scene.
During a robbery on July 27, the man punched the driver in the face before taking $200, police said. He fled on foot, leaving his bike behind. The bike was later determined to be stolen, police said.
So far, the man has gotten away with nearly $650 total, according to police.
A request for comment from the Taxi and Limousine Commission was not immediately returned.