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Cops Continue Search For Knife-Wielding Suspect In Pair Of Upper West Side Robberies

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- The NYPD is still on the hunt for a suspect in a pair of Upper West Side knifepoint robberies.

On Sunday Jan. 18, at 5:30 p.m. a 72-year-old woman was walking near West 89th Street and Riverside Drive when the suspect approached her with a knife and demanded her purse, according to police.

The woman complied and the suspect took off.

Then, on Saturday Feb. 28, Tanya Leybov, 62, was sitting on a bench near West 84th Street and Riverside Drive when the suspect pulled out a knife, sat down next to her, and demanded money. The victim said she didn't have any cash, began to scream, and the suspect fled.

While no one was injured in either incident, police are warning residents to be extra careful and on the lookout for the suspect.

"It's pretty awful. I would never want that to happen to me or anyone else," one woman told CBS2's Emily Smith.

"I was mugged about three times in the park, so I no longer go there at night," another resident said.

Leybov told CBS2's Tracee Carrasco that she didn't expect to be mugged just blocks away from her home.

"I decided to take a rest so I sat on the bench, and all of the sudden, a woman appeared next to me. Sat next to me," she said.

The woman had a weapon and was looking for cash.

"She said, 'Give me money,' and she pulled out a knife and she said, 'I know you have money,'" Leyboy explained.

The suspect repeated herself and Leybov knew she had to act quickly.

"But I have a cane, so I took my cane and I started screaming," she said.

The muggings have Upper West Side residents looking over their shoulders.

"I watch my back. I look around, make sure I know who's around me, but I've never felt unsafe," Matt Herbek said.

Leybov said it's a lesson learned.

"Now I will be more careful," she said.

The suspect has been described as a black female in her mid 20s. She is 5 feet tall, weighs 125 pounds, and has black curly hair.

Anyone with information regarding this incident has been asked to contact the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

The public can also submit their tips by logging on to the Crime Stoppers website or by texting tips to 274637[CRIMES] and entering TIP577.

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