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Central Park Visitors On Alert After 2 Robberies

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An intense search is underway for a man police said went on a violent robbery spree in Central Park.

Police have released a sketch of the man who is wanted for two robberies that occurred earlier this week at 74th Street and East Drive near the popular Boathouse restaurant.

In each incident, the suspect put his victims in a chokehold, dragged them to the ground and took off with cash and credit cards, police said.

The first robbery happened just after midnight on Monday and the second around 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

The victims, who were both 47-year-old men, were shaken, but neither was seriously injured, police said.

Central Park Visitors On Alert After 2 Robberies

Many parkgoers are concerned and on alert to defend themselves, CBS 2's Weijia Jiang reported.

"If I did not have my dogs, I would absolutely not go into the park alone at night," said Upper East Side resident Pascale Gousseland. "It's silly to take a risk."

"At night there aren't that many police here and people wander around," said Upper East Side resident Vadislav Sandler.

"If it's a chokehold, go for the knee, go for the groin, use your head," said Central Park visitor Lauren Miller. "Do what you gotta do."

"Coming into the park with a backpack at midnight is probably not the smartest move," another man told 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria. "I wouldn't do it."

The suspect was described as a black male about 6 feet 5 inches tall.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, visit the Crime Stoppers website or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.

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