NEW YORK (AP) _ Police on routine patrol spotted Naser Hidrovic and thought he fit the description of a suspect wanted for a string of robberies. They had no evidence, though, and had to let him go _ until he made a crucial mistake while walking away.

Hidrovic jaywalked.

Police arrested the 21-year-old, who was later identified in a photo lineup and charged with two robberies. More charges could come, and Hidrovic also was slapped with a jaywalking violation.

When the arrest was made public Friday, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani could not hide his delight. In December, the mayor announced a crackdown on jaywalking and raised the fine to $50 from $2.

But police have been less than enthusiastic in enforcing jaywalking laws, and critics have accused him of trying to exercise too much control over a city that prides itself in being pedestrian-friendly.

``It turned out that when they brought him in, he was wanted in two robberies. And it's possible he's wanted in more,'' Giuliani said. ``So all of these strategies have a benefit.''