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Woman in cat mask sought in New York robberies

By Mythili Rao, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police searching for robbery suspect who wears cat mask, scarves over face
  • Woman is suspected in three robberies at shoe and bath stores since last year
  • Thief produces note warning of gun and demands cash

New York (CNN) -- Who is that cat-masked woman?

It's the question that the New York City Police Department is asking as it tries to nab a thief who has been making the rounds in the city's shoe and bath stores.

The petite, dark-haired, dark-eyed suspect has established a pattern. She enters the store, browses discreetly, and then covers her face -- with a cat mask on one occasion, and with a scarf on two others -- and pounces on the store's cashier, handing over a note demanding cash. "I have a gun," the note says, providing her cover as she high-tails it with the money.

New York City police told CNN that the suspect is possibly a Middle Eastern female, who measures about 5'6" and weighs around 110 pounds. She has made off with an undisclosed amount of cash after three robberies so far -- at an Arche shoe store in the New York City borough of Manhattan on Friday, at The Body Shop in the borough of Queens on Thursday and at a Nine West store last year, also in Queens, authorities said.

It was at the Manhattan shoe store that the thief donned the cat mask, after prowling the store for nearly 45 minutes, police said.

No one was available to comment at Arche or The Body Shop. A manager at Nine West told CNN that the robbery occurred before she began working at the store.

Police have been on the suspect's tail since the Nine West store robbery in April of 2009. Perhaps they should enlist the help of Forest Hills' most famous crimefighter, who's known for besting many a theatrical villain: Spider-Man.