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Popular Kips Bay Tailor Recovering After Attack By Knife Wielding Thief

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Surveillance video released Monday night shows the man police believe attacked and tried to rob a beloved tailor in Kips Bay on Monday.

As CBS2's Ali Bauman reported, investigators searched through a disheveled Apel's Alteration shop on 27th Street near Third Avenue on Monday afternoon.

They said around 1 p.m. the tailor, who neighbors identify as shop owner Apel Tamagoglu, was working inside when he was attacked by a knife wielding thief who demanded money.

Matt Moreno works next door. He came outside when he heard ambulance sirens.

"There was an older guy bleeding in there," Moreno said, "His face and stomach area."

Police said the suspect slashed the 78-year-old tailor once in the face, and stabbed him twice in the chest after he refused to hand over any cash. Tamagoglu eventually relented and handed over $80 from his pocket.

"I saw the blood on the floor. Pretty gruesome in there," neighbor Ramiro Silos said.

Inside the shop, the floor and clothing on the counter were still soaked in the tailor's blood. Neighbors said it's not the first time he's been targeted.

"About a year-and-a-half ago, similar scene, someone busted in and punched him in the face, took his cell phone," Daniel Davies said.

Through the glass storefront, neighbors could see the Tamagoglu hunched over, and sewing around the clock -- the earnest seamstress has been adored by his many loyal customers.

"Every time I ask him how long he's been here, he says 'how old are you?' I say, '30,' he says, 'longer than you've been alive," Davies said.

His customers said they hope to see him behind the sewing machine soon.

Police did not find a weapon and it appears nothing was stolen.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male between 40 and 50-years-old, between 5'8" and 5'11'' tall and 160 to 190 pounds with a beard. He was last seen wearing a blue hooded coat, blue jeans, and black sneakers.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1 800 577 TIPS or for Spanish, 1 888 57-PISTA.


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