"I was approached by a man who got pretty close to me."
Daria Carpeggio was reliving Monday's face-to-face meeting with an armed robber. With her 17-month-old son, Ben, in hand, she was on her way into a Blackhorse Pike supermarket. Suddenly a man approached and demanded her purse.
"My first reaction was, 'No.' And at that point he told me, 'Don't make me do this, you have a baby with you.' And he pointed a knife or box cutter blade at my wrist and took my bag," she told Action News.
The suspect is described as a 20-ish black male, tall and lean, who fled on foot. He was nowhere in sight by the time police were called.
"The scary part is, in hindsight I don't think I could have done anything different," said Carpeggio. "It's sad. If you can't go to the grocery store at 11:00 a.m. in broad daylight, then what can you do?"
Police all along the Blackhorse Pike in multiple jurisdictions think the same man has been pulling a series of heists, always preying on young women traveling alone.
"He appears to not only have been involved in our robbery, but he's a suspect in several other ones within the surrounding Gloucester and Camden Counties," said Washington Township Police Captain Richard Leonard.
"He took everything. He took my phone, he took my keys to my home, my keys to my car, multiple credit cards. I had nothing. And that's the point where you feel violated," said Carpeggio.
Police say they hope to release surveillance pictures of the suspect shortly.