Thief claims to have AIDS, threatens store employees with syringe, police say

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A man allegedly threatened drug store employees with a syringe and stole about $1,100 in merchandise over the weekend, police said.

MIDTOWN EAST, Manhattan — A man who claimed to have AIDS threatened drug store employees with a syringe and made off with more than $1,100 in merchandise in two incidents over the weekend, police said.

The suspect walked into an E. 52nd Street Duane Reade Saturday morning around 10:10 a.m. and grabbed eight Aveeno lotions and 35 shampoos and conditioners before trying to leave the store, police said. After an employee confronted him, the suspect pulled out a syringe, said he had AIDS and threatened to stick anyone who tried to stop him.

He fled westbound with about $440 in merchandise, police said.

A man walked into the same Duane Reade on Sunday afternoon and grabbed 16 toothbrushes, 25 shampoos and conditioners, 16 Aveeno lotions and four tubes of Colgate toothpaste, police said. The merchandise was worth nearly $700. He pulled out a syringe and menaced employees.

“Try to stop me and I’m going to stab you with a syringe,” the suspect said according to the NYPD. “I have full blown AIDS.”

The suspect fled in an unknown direction, police said. It is unclear if it was the same man in both incidents.