Two crooks sought for separate East Village robberies

Police need the public’s help in tracking down two robbers behind a pair of separate capers in the East Village last month.

The most severe incident happened at a laundromat on First Avenue on the morning of July 16, when a crook was caught on camera physically struggling with a female clerk who attempted to stop the robbery.

Law enforcement sources said the trouble began at about 9:15 a.m. on July 16 inside the New Phoenix Laundromat & Clean, located at 199 First Ave.

Police said the suspect walked into the location, approached the 32-year-old female worker and demanded money from the register. The worker then produced a screwdriver to protect herself from harm.

As shown on video that the NYPD released Tuesday, Aug. 17, the crook engaged in a physical struggle with the worker before finally managing to wrest the would-be weapon from her.

While menacing the woman with the weapon, the suspect then opened the cash register and removed $250 in cash. Moments later, he casually shut the register and walked out of the store in an unknown direction.

Police described the culprit as a Black man who wore a black baseball cap, a black mask, a black t-shirt, gray sweatpants and white sneakers.

Law enforcement sources said the second incident happened two days later, at 3 a.m. on July 18, when three unidentified males robbed a 40-year-old man near the corner of St. Mark’s Place and First Avenue.

According to authorities, the group accosted the man and removed the victim’s cell phone and wallet from his pants pockets. They then fled in an unknown direction.

The incident was later reported to the 9th Precinct, which later determined that one of the suspects used the victim’s debit card to go shopping at the Target store located at 500 East 14th St. at about 8:15 a.m. on July 18.

On Aug. 17, the NYPD released a security camera image of the Target shopper wanted in connection with the July 18 robbery. He’s described as a man with a dark complexion who wore a blue baseball cap, a white shirt, light blue shorts and white sneakers.

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Anyone with information regarding either suspect’s whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.