Brutal attack of elderly women leaves neighbors on edge

Posted at 7:47 PM, Dec 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-07 19:49:58-05

She’s 89, frail, and called herself fearless until Monday. Now she refuses to leave her Bronx apartment alone, and all she thinks about is the man who attacked her.

“I’m scared, scared to death.  I cannot sleep at night,” she said.

Cops say a vicious and heartless thief targets and robs elderly women, and she was his first victim.


Security footage of the man suspected of robbing several elderly women

At 11:30 a.m. Monday, she left Chase Bank on White Plains Road with $100 cash in her purse.  On the street, she says two men caught her eye.

“I noticed across the street another guy.  He was waiting for the light to change. It changed, and he still didn’t cross the street.  I thought that was strange,” she said.

Minutes later, back at her apartment the man turned up again. Steps from her home the man demanded she hand over her purse, and she complied.

“He took his time,” said the victim.  “He opened the purse and it took out all money.”

The man got away with $100 and cops say he did not stop there. Police believe he hit four times between Monday and Wednesday.  Each time, investigators say, he watched closely before stealing from fragile females. His youngest victim was 60-years-old.

“They were watching her.  That tells me they were doing their own counter surveillance,” said former NYPD commander Wally Zeins.

Mariah River goes to the same Chase Bank and walked there with caution today.


Former NYPD commander, Wally Zeins, urges Mariah River to use direct deposit

“If you have an opportunity to use direct deposit instead of going to the bank, use that,” Zeins told River.

Back at home this victim does not show any signs of physical harm, but emotionally she admits she may never recover.

“I screamed but they said no one heard me,” she said.