A scrappy Manhattan woman snatched her watch back from a burglar she caught leaving her apartment red-handed Thursday morning — and hours later he was arrested following a dramatic foot chase with building security, police said.
The 41-year-old woman came home to her fourth-floor apartment on Madison Avenue near East 27th Street just before 10 a.m. — and just in time to see the prowler standing inside her apartment with her $60 Skagen watch, a towel, and a pair of headphones in his hands, cops said.
The crook attempted to hide the watch under the towel, police said, but was not slick enough.
When the victim demanded her watch back, the thief shoved her out of the way as he tried to run off, authorities said.
Undeterred, the gutsy woman chased down the crook in the hallway, and wrested the timepiece from his grasp.
He pushed her back again – this time to the floor – and ran off towards the elevator bank. The victim, who wasn’t identified, was uninjured in the scuffle.
Nearly five hours later, the crook emerged and was spotted bolting of the Madison Avenue building. Building security and the doorman chased him up E. 28th Street.
“Get him! Get him,” the building’s doorman shouted. But the thief managed to get away.
Witnesses spotted the suspect running into a park plaza on E. 28th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue where the man changed out of a blue jacket and into a black jacket.
From the plaza, he scaled up to a 15-foot-high ledge that leads into the back of an E. 28th Street building where he darted onto the fire escape and ran up to the roof, witnesses said.
“He was like Spider-Man or something,” said a parks worker who did not want to be named.
The thief left behind a green shopping bag with the blue jacket inside. He was last seen wearing a black and white skullcap, a black jacket, a red t-shirt, and dark jeans, police said.
Two teams of cops combed through the area on the hunt for the crook for nearly two hours before they found him on the 7th floor of 261 Fifth Avenue, a commercial building, and took him into custody.