Young knife-wielding woman targeting pedestrians on Upper West Side

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Police released this sketch Monday, March 23, 2015, of a woman suspected of mugging at least two women at knife point on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (Photo: NYPD)

Police released this sketch Monday, March 23, 2015, of a woman suspected of mugging at least two women at knife point on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (Photo: NYPD)

UPPER WEST SIDE (PIX11) — A young woman has been targeting women nearly four times her age, threatening them with a knife and demanding their purses as they walk in an upscale Manhattan neighborhood, police said Monday.

A sketch of the attacker has been released and investigators are asking the public to help identify her.

The first attack happened about 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18 near West 89th Street and Riverside Drive, police said. A 72-year-old woman was walking by herself when the attacker, armed with a knife, approached her and demanded her purse. The victim handed over her bag and the attacker fled, police said.

The next attack happened about 6:40 p.m. Feb. 28 near West 8th Street and Riverside Drive. It was there was a 62-year-old woman was sitting on a bench when the culprit sat beside her, pulled out a knife and demanded money. When the victim said she had no cash and started to scream, the attacker ran away empty handed, police said.

Police are looking for a black female in her mid-20s, about 5 feet tall and 125 pounds with long black curly hair.

Anyone with information in the case is urged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.