HARLEM, Manhattan — Police are looking for a phony helper who held the door for a man using a walker, only to rip the gold chain off his neck at a Harlem building in an attack that was caught on camera.
The thief targeted the 61-year-old man who was going into a building near Manhattan and St. Nicholas avenues about 1:40 p.m. Monday, police said.
The victim, identified as Anthony McBride, was using a walker and was bringing grocery bags home.
As McBride was entering the building, another man offered to hold the door open for him.
"I thought he lived in the building," McBride told PIX11 News on Wednesday.
It's not out of the ordinary for someone to hold the door for McBride, a retired postal worker whose stroke 8 years ago dramatically changed the way he walks.
But this person had a much different motive.
McBride made his way into the vestibule and the man, in one swooping motion, grabbed a gold chain off his neck and threw him to the ground.
The victim's hat flung off his head and his walker rolled to the side. The thief fled the building with the gold chain, leaving McBride on the floor.
Police released surveillance video of the thief, who is described as being 5 feet 10 inches tall and about 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a tan hat, white sneakers and multi-colored shirt, police said.
Neighbors told PIX11 News they don't recognize the attacker.
"He's a rat," one neighbor said. "He is not worth living."
McBride called this phony helper a "snake in the grass" who, he believes, preyed on him because he uses a walker.
Anyone with information in the case is urged to call NYPD's Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or text 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.