Surveillance footage form a store on East 116th Street in East Harlem shows a crook steal an envelope full of pension money from a wheelchair-bound 93 year old woman.
The thief targeted Maria Vasquez as she shopped for a new pair of slippers.
The surveillance video catches the entire robbery, and shows the thief casually sneak up behind Vasquez. He then reached into the woman’s bra and took her envelope containing $600.
Vasquez was looking the other way at her caretaker when the thief reached over and yanked the envelope from her bra.
“He scratched me and took off running.
“I just screamed, ‘Run, run, he stole my money!’
“I jumped in my chair because I was strapped in. There was nothing I could do.”
The caretaker, Felicia Reyes, is seen on the video attempting to comfort Vasquez as the elderly woman nervously grabs her chest while shocked from what had just happened.
“It was very fast. I didn’t even know what happened,” said Reyes. “The money was in her bra, since I cannot carry the money. She didn’t have a handbag.”
Police have said the thief is still at large after fleeing east on 116th Street..
She said she had just cashed her pension check at a bank and her caretaker put the money in her bra for safekeeping because the caretaker isn’t allowed to carry the cash and Vasquez was wearing a dress with no pockets.
“He must have seen me in the bank and followed me. He had the intention to rob me,” Vasquez said.
“I just never would have imagined he would do that.”
Vasquez said the money that was stolen from her is her only source of income for the month and that she will need to find more money in order to pay her gas and electric bills.
“I’m worried about how I’m going to pay my bills now,” she said.
Vasquez is a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and she said she wants the man to be caught, but she isn’t going to hold a grudge over him.
“I hope . . . he gets punished, but I don’t want the death penalty for him,” she said. “I pray he changes his ways.”
She added, “Of course I forgive him. Just as Jesus Christ forgave. I pray God will bring him to justice.”
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