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[VIDEO] Heartless thief tricks autistic man out of birthday money: police

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP/PIX11) - Police are looking for the heartless thief who befriended an autistic man in the street Tuesday afternoon before allegedly stealing his birthday money.

Surveillance video shows the suspect following the 27-year-old man, who was on his way to the Stamford Town Center to buy video games with the $100 his family had given him.

The suspect caught up with him inside the breezeway that runs from nearby Veteran's Park to the shopping center, and started chatting with him.  Excited to show off his birthday gift, the autistic man pulls the $100 from his pocket.

The suspect can be seen taking the money to inspect it, then taunting the man as he pretends to give it back -- only to jerk the bill away at the last second.

Finally, police say, the suspect pretends to slip the money back into the victim's pocket before walking away with it.

Thinking he has his birthday money back, the autistic man gives his alleged mugger a big hug to thank him.  He continues on to the shopping center, only later realizing he was robbed.

"Let it be known, the Stamford Police Department does not stand for this type of behavior within our community or tolerate this behavior from any of our community members," the police department wrote on its Facebook page.

Stamford police are looking for the public's help in identifying the suspect, anyone with information is urged to call (203) 977-4417.

Sergeant Jennifer Pinto with the department told PIX11 that a group of officers have donated money to the man and strangers have dropped money and gifts off at the station for him. "We have far exceeded what was lost," Pinto said.

As of now, there is no official fund set up to donate to the victim.


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