Police locked up a Williamsburg man suspected of at least four knifepoint robberies — and they might have caught him sooner if victims had reported the crimes promptly, an NYPD source told The Brooklyn Paper.
The blade-wielding “Metropolitan Mugger” stalked single women on the neighborhood’s more gentrified blocks before pulling out a blade and demanding their cash.
The suspect allegedly started his spree on March 19, when he confronted two women on Metropolitan Avenue between Bedford and Driggs avenues as they walked home from a bar at around 1:10 am.
“Don’t scream,” the man said as he pulled out a silver blade with a black handle. “Just give me your stuff.”
The women gave up their cellphones, Metrocards and $55.
Three days later, the suspect mugged two women within five minutes of each other on the corner of Metropolitan and Wythe avenues, escaping with $80 and a cellphone at around 9:35 pm, cops said.
The crook, who donned a black hoodie and brown Timberland boots when he committed his crimes, re-emerged on April 11, robbing a North First Street woman in front of her apartment. In that case, the hoodlum confronted the victim as she stepped out of her building, which is between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street, at around 1 am.
“Don’t look at my face,” he said as he pulled out his knife. “Give me your s—.”
The victim obliged, handing over a pink leather wallet, credit cards, a monthly Metrocard, an iPod, a Nokia cellphone and $100.
After the string of muggings, residents of the neighborhood noticed an upswing in police presence.
“The southside of Williamsburg is currently totally crawling with foot patrol NYPD, and people are getting busted left and right for everything,” a tipster told The Brooklyn Paper. “They are stopping everyone possible simply so they can run everyone’s licenses looking for priors that will most likely mark their man.”
Evidently, the strategy paid off.
“Detectives were able to make an apprehension and we think it’s the Metropolitan guy,” a police source said. “He’s someone who lived in the community and he was out on parole.”
Police did not release the arrested man’s name, but they did say that they might have caught him sooner if the victims had not waited to call cops.
“They all waited a while before they contacted police,” a police source said. “They’d finish going where they were going, they’d get to their destination, then they’d call police. If anything happens, people should call us right away.”