EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — Police arrested a man Friday who allegedly reached into the bra of a 93-year-old woman in a wheelchair and stole her envelope of cash.
Broyoan Lopez, 26, has been charged with two counts of robbery, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, police said.
Maria Vasquez had just taken money out of a bank in East Harlem to pay for her bills. In a very old-school way of doing things, Vasquez tucked the envelope of money into her bra and ventured to a nearby store with an aide pushing her wheelchair.
Inside Regine’s clothing store on 116th Street, Vasquez was about five steps into the store looking at slippers, when Lopez made his way in, grabbed the money from her shirt and calmly walked out. Lopez made off with $600.
“He’s the lowest of the low,” said store manager Josh Cohen.
Vasquez spoke with PIX11 inside her East Harlem apartment today, where she said she wants Lopez punished so other thieves would have fear and think it is impossible to rob other people.
A store owner who goes by the name William, tells PIX11 that Vasquez has been a loyal customer at the store for over a decade. And because of that, Regine’s requested that Vasquez come back to the store today for a surprise.
They presented the 93-year old with a $600 check to pay for her bills, along with a free pair of those slippers she was shopping for.
Concerned New Yorkers have also launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for Vasquez. So far they’ve raised nearly $1,700.