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Camera catches mugging of 101-year-old woman

NEW YORK &

A surveillance camera caught a mugger beating a 101-year-old woman, all for the mere $33 she was carrying; shortly later, police say, the same man mugged an 85-year-old woman.

He beat her, too, stealing $32, and though that attack wasn't caught on video, police say it is the same man.

"There has to be a special rung of hell for him," said a police official familiar with the incidents, which occurred Sunday.

The older woman suffered a fractured cheekbone that doctors at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens could not repair because of her age. The 85-year-old suffered facial cuts and bruises.

Police said the older woman displayed quite a bit of moxie when interviewed by detectives. She gets around with a walker &

both her hips have been replaced &

and suggested her attacker hadn't seen the best of her.

"If I had better legs, I would have chased him," the official quoted her saying.

She was leaving her apartment building at 12:30 p.m. when she was mugged.

The video shows the mugger in the vestibule with a bicycle. He looked up, saw the video camera, then pulled his hat down.

The woman followed, motioning for the mugger to hold the door as she moved slowly with the aid of her walker.

The mugger held the door, keeping his head down to avoid being caught again on camera. With the woman fully in the vestibule, he pounced. First, he grabbed her around her neck with both his hands, then he hit her twice on the left side of her face with right punches.

The blows knocked the woman's hat off her head, but she kept her balance as he ripped the pocketbook from her grip. As she stood there, appearing dazed, he felt around her neck for a chain, but she apparently wasn't wearing one.

Then, the video showed the woman reaching down to get her pocketbook from him, and he responded with a staggering right fist that knocked her to the ground.

He then fled with the pocketbook, containing her money and house keys.

A half-hour later, at another building, the same man struck again, police said.

He followed an 85-year-old resident into the elevator, then got off one floor before her stop. When the woman tried to enter her apartment, the man, who had apparently gone up a flight of stairs, confronted her and stole her pocketbook.