It doesn’t get any lower than stealing money out of the bra of a 93-year-old woman in wheelchair, but a man in East Harlem did just that.
Thanks to a surveillance video, Broyoan Lopez, 26, of Brooklyn was arrested Friday in New York City and charged with robbery, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to police.
The video at a clothing store called Regines captured Lopez in the act Wednesday. He was sporting a man bun (a crime in and of itself, some say) when he walked over to Maria Vasquez, reached his hand into her shirt and removed her $600 monthly Social Security payment in broad daylight.
Vasquez was with her home health aide when the incident occurred, but the aide had briefly turned away to shop.
Lopez likely followed Vasquez and the aide from the bank a few doors down, where she cashed her government check.
“I use it to pay for everything. Everything I have to pay for,” she said. “I need it ... because my husband died seven years ago, and I’m alone,” Vasquez told the New York Daily News.
It was reported that a manager at the store, William, was alerted to the robbery by Vasquez’s health aide, but, because she shouted out in Spanish, he didn’t understand what she was saying. By the time her caregiver translated, Lopez was long gone.
Vasquez, who is a Jehovah’s Witness told ABC7 at the time she reported the incident that she had faith that the man would turn himself in.
The incident so enraged local East Harlem residents and the store manager that a GoFundMe page was launched, and shortly after Lopez’s arrest, a $600 check was presented to Vasquez.
William said it was the least he could for a loyal customer.
Vasquez was slightly injured during the robbery. She attempted to push Lopez’s arm away, and was scratched on the arm and chest.
“I feel safe — this guy is going to be in jail and not keep robbing people,” Vasquez told the Daily News. “I want the authorities to punish him, to put him in jail. He has to pay.”