If you've walked down Seventh Avenue at any point within the past week or so, you've probably noticed these signs in lots of storefront windows.
The search is on for the man who's committed a string of armed robberies in the area; reportedly the Tasti D-Lite between Ninth and Tenth has been robbed repeatedly, as well as the laundromat on the corner of Seventh and 12th.
And yesterday I received a tip from a reader about their recent experience, a separate incident:
"There have been an increasing number of robberies and assaults in our neighborhood. Last night at 1:45 am I was followed home from the Union Street stop and assaulted with a loaded gun in the vestibule of my apartment building on the corner of 7th Ave and 1st Street by a man who didn't want my wallet. Thankfully there was a man who happened to be walking down 7th Ave who saw it and heard me screaming. He called 911 and also started screaming for help; which scared the guy enough to run away. The police arrived and they actually caught the guy. Please be careful when walking home alone from the subways late at night, don't have headphones in, don't be on your phone, be aware of your surroundings. If you think someone is following you, call 911 and keep walking towards well-lit areas and other people until the police come. If you see anything suspicious, call 911. Scream for help. The only reason my incident last night was cut short was because I would not stop screaming and someone else didn't just walk by, keeping to himself. Whoever you are random passerby, thank you so much."
Be careful out there, folks! And if you have any tips about the identity of the bandit, call 1-800-577-TIPS. There's a $2,000 cash reward.
UPDATE: I just received the following email, from the man who helped save the day:
"I was so pleased to read that the perpetrator was caught after the incident on 7th Ave and 1st Street earlier this week. I am in fact the Park Sloper who came upon this attack and intervened. I had forgotten something in my office which is on Union and 7th and was walking down the Avenue when I saw this attack in progress. As the father of a young daughter, my protector instincts kicked into gear. I am glad that I was at the right place at the right time."