By Sarina Trangle
FOREST HILLS — Police were searching for a man who allegedly grabbed women in bear hugs in central Queens and stole their purses late at night, the NYPD said.
Police said the suspect first struck Feb. 11 in Kew Gardens, where he allegedly pushed a woman against a fence on Lefferts Boulevard near Metropolitan Avenue, took out a box cutter and grabbed her purse.
The man allegedly targeted a woman walking along Continental Avenue near Dartmouth Street in Forest Hills Feb. 12, according to the NYPD. Police said he climbed out of a dark-colored, four-door sedan and threw his arms around the pedestrian.
The NYPD said he then allegedly threatened to cut the victim, but did not display a knife, and took the woman’s purse. He drove off in the sedan, according to police.
On Feb. 19, police said the suspect again grabbed a woman in a bear hug as she walked past 71-25 Austin St. in Forest Hills. The NYPD said he allegedly pressed an unknown sharp object against the woman’s hand and stole her purse.
Police said he left in a dark, four-door sedan.
Those with information should contact NYPD’s Crimestoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting its website or texting 274637 (CRIMES) and entering TIP577.