From ace Daily News reporter Jan Ransom:
Police are searching for up to four thugs responsible for a string of robberies in Center City including that of a 93-year-old woman last week.
The men, all black and in their 30s, 40s or 50s, sporting business casual attire, stroll through busy Center City streets, so far only on Mondays, preying on women who are alone, elderly or with their children, said Police Spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore.
“Please be very conscious. These guys are very organized,” Vanore said. “They’re very, very calculated.”
- The thieves’ earliest known target was a 29-year-old woman pushing an infant in a stroller into her building on Chestnut Street near 15th on Monday, July 19, at 4:15 p.m. The men followed the woman from 17th and Chestnut streets. As she proceeded to enter her building, a bald man with dark shades and a beard separated the woman from the stroller while a man in business casual attire tried to swipe a purse from the bottom storage space of the stroller. He was unsuccessful. Meanwhile the stroller proceeded to roll toward Chestnut Street until the woman pushed the bald man out of the way to get the stroller. Neither the woman or her child were injured, police said.
- On Aug. 16, the two men followed a 93-year-old woman into her high-rise building on 15th and Locust Streets. One man distracted the building security guard while the other proceeded onto the elevator with her at 10:08 a.m. The Monday muggers got a way with a grand total of $6, while the woman’s wrist was fractured in the scuffle, police said.
- On Monday Aug. 9, a 46-year-old female stopped inside of 1636 Walnut St. to use an ATM at 11:35 a.m. when she was suddenly distracted by one of the men. The other man took her wallet from her purse with $4 and a debit card, police said. She wasn’t injured.
- Similar to the latest incident, an 86-year-old woman was attempting to exit a building on 100 South Broad St. at 11 a.m. on July 26, when one of the men held his arm out preventing the woman from leaving and the other man stole her wallet which contained a small gold money clip and $20.