Knife-Wielding Robber Stalks Manhattan Laundromats, Dry Cleaners - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Knife-Wielding Robber Stalks Manhattan Laundromats, Dry Cleaners

The NYPD believes he is responsible for five robberies since late February



    Suspect Sought in String of Laundromat Robberies

    The NYPD is asking the public for help in solving a string of Manhattan robberies at laundromats and dry cleaning businesses. Anyone with information in regards to these robberies is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). (Published Tuesday, April 1, 2014)

    Police are looking for a knife-wielding man who has robbed a string of laundromats and dry cleaners on the east side of Manhattan in the last six weeks, in one case punching a 71-year-old woman in the face.

    The woman, Chu Kian Chang, is still recovering at the hospital with a swollen eye and bruises to the face, her son told NBC 4 New York. 
    Police say the suspect entered a cleaner on East 29th Street in Kips Bay on March 27 and demanded money. When Chang refused, he allegedly assaulted her.
    "They punched my mother a couple times and pushed her down on the floor," said Chang's son, who asked not to be named. 
    He showed a picture of his mother, whose bruises were apparently still very raw days after the attack. 
    The NYPD says the robberies began Feb. 22 when the suspect walked into a laundromat on East 26th Street in Kips Bay at about 8 p.m. and made off with $300.
    The owner of that laundromat, Ratana Phatiwit, says she's glad she didn't fight back. 
    "In the beginning I was upset that I didn't fight," she said. "After you show me the picture, I see I'm lucky." 
    A few days later, he hit a dry cleaner on East 70th Street on the Upper East Side, taking $200.
    On March 12, he walked into a cleaner on East 24th Street in Gramercy Park, took $300 and punched someone in the face.
    On March 27, two days after he allegedly punched Chang at her business, he took $500 from the register at a laundromat on East 81st Street. 
    Phatiwit has installed cameras at her own business and posted a sign warning against anyone preying on the small business. 

    Police released a surveillance photo of the suspect (above) and ask anyone with information about the robberies to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477).

    -- Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.