By Tony Hanson, Ileana Diaz and Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)— The City of Philadelphia has now posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man believed responsible for eight violent purse snatch robberies in Overbrook Park since early last month (See Previous Story).
Police were out in force Tuesday night patrolling the neighborhood.
They are hoping someone motivated by money who knows the suspect will turn on him and turn him in.
This is the first composite sketch of the suspect.
He’s wanted for robbing eight women in Overbrook Park since January.
Police say the coward has targeted women, ranging in age from 28 to 60, in sneak attacks.
This woman CBS 3 is identifying only as Barbara was attacked Jan. 13th.
As CBS 3 first reported then, chilling surveillance video shows the suspect dragging her across a parking lot (See Related Story).
The struggle left her with two broken fingers.
She hopes the sketch creates new leads.
“I’d feel more comfortable if he was away. He’s going to get caught sooner or later. He’s getting too comfortable is this area,” Barbara said.
Along with the composite sketch, police have also announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man.
“He’s knocking females to the ground. He’s using force. He’s also producing a knife, which we hope never gets used,” Philadelphia Police Captain John Przepiorka said.
Authorities believe the wanted man has robbed at least eight times since January 8th. All of the victims have been women and they all state that they were approached from behind and by the suspect and he then demands, or grabs, their belongings.
“He’s approaching females from behind. He’s threatening them or knocking them to the ground. At that point he is taking their purses or their cell phones and the fleeing the area into the Cobbs Creek golf course area,” Capt. Przepiorka said.
The offender is described as a black man, 20 to 27-years-old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, slim build with a mustache. He had been wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and light blue jeans.
After the initial wave of six attacks in January there was a lull, until he struck again on Friday and again on Monday when he targeted a 41-year-old woman as she pulled her car into the garage.
Only CBS 3 was there as detectives searching that victim’s car for fingerprints.
Barbara Boatright, a neighbor of the woman attacked on Monday, says, “I heard her say the man came up to me and stuck a knife to my side and said give me your pocketbook.”
People in the neighborhood CBS 3 showed the sketch to didn’t recognize the suspect, but they are hoping someone else does.
“He’s probably targeting women because he probably sees them as easier targets,” neighbor Margret Harper said.
Police tell CBS 3 the reward and the sketch did produce new leads, but as of right now the suspect is still on the loose.
In the meantime, police want women to take extra precautions. Capt. Przepiorka says, “Stay in pairs. It’s very beneficial until we get this man off of the streets.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Southwest Detectives Division at 215-686-3183.