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Police: Man wanted for preying on local women

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Police need the public's help in identifying a man who is preying on local women, approaching them in broad daylight in and outside local grocery stores, threatening them at knife-point and robbing them.

It all started December 22nd outside the south Utica Price Chopper store. A woman got into her car with groceries around 7:30 am. Within seconds, a man forces her into her passenger's seat at knifepoint, threatens her, demanding her ATM card and PIN number, driving away and leaving the victim and her car on a nearby side street.

Four minutes later, a surveillance camera at the Fastrac on Oneida Street and the Parkway captures the man as police say he withdrew a small amount of cash from the woman's account.

It's that close-up image of the suspect, captured on video, that police hope will help someone identify the dangerous suspect and help them find him before he finds his next victim.

"When you see this you always worry about what's next? Does he up the ante next time? So we want to hopefully get ahead of it and stop this person before something worse happens," says Sgt. Steve Hauck.

Eight days after the first robbery, the man is caught on tape physically attacking a female worker at the Save-a-Lot store on Oneida Street before the store opened for business-again, around 7:00 in the morning. That woman came away with knife wounds to her hands. The suspect became flustered and left without taking anything.

Police are alarmed by the fact that the man verbally threatened his first victim, but physically attacked his second. They ask anyone who recognizes the suspect and knows his name to call them at 223 3510. Calls can be kept confidential.

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