New York City police are searching for a man who was caught by surveillance cameras reaching into a wheelchair-bound, elderly woman's bra and stealing her pension money (video below).
Maria Vasquez, 94, was shopping for new slippers with her caretaker, Felicia Reyes, at a store in East Harlem on Sept. 7, the New York Post reported.
Surveillance cameras captured the moment an unidentified male snuck up behind Vasquez, slipped his hand into her brassiere, took an envelope full of money, and ran off.
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Vasquez said she was shocked when she felt the man paw at her chest.
“I was scared. I wasn’t expecting it,” Vazquez told the New York Post. “He reached over and startled me, yanking the envelope from my bra.
“He scratched me and took off running.
“I just screamed, ‘Run, run, he stole my money!’
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“I jumped in my chair because I was strapped in. There was nothing I could do.”
In the video, Reyes is seen trying to comfort Vasquez.
“It was very fast. I didn’t even know what happened,” Reyes said. “The money was in her bra, since I cannot carry the money. She didn’t have a handbag.”
Police said the suspect is about 5'10" and 160 lbs, WABC reported. He was last seen with his hair in a bun, a beard, a gray shirt, and a satchel bag slung over his shoulder.
“He must have seen me in the bank and followed me,” Vasquez said. “He had the intention to rob me.
“I just never would have imagined he would do that.”
Vasquez has been wheelchair-bound since she suffered a stroke. She now needs to find another source of income to cover her monthly expenses.
“I’m worried about how I’m going to pay my bills now,” Vasquez said. “Now, we’ll have to take more precaution. It’s scary. I hope this never happens again.”
Despite losing her pension money, Vasquez said she does not hold a grudge against the thief.
“I hope ... he gets punished but I don’t want the death penalty for him,” she said. “I pray he changes his ways.
“Of course I forgive him. Just as Jesus Christ forgave. I pray God will bring him to justice.”