Pair stole woman’s phone at 23rd Street subway station

Phone theft suspects

Cops are looking for a pair of thieves who snatched a woman’s iPhone X at the 23rd Street subway station.

On Friday, February 2 at 9:15 p.m., the 54-year-old female victim was walking along the R platform, looking at her phone, when the two men grabbed it from her before fleeing.

Both suspects are described as being black, about 20 years old, 5 ft. 7 ins. and 170 lbs. One was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, the other a black hooded jacket.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Advertisements

Men stealing handbags from Flatiron Michael Kors

Suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for two men they say have been swiping handbags from the Michael Kors store in Flatiron.

Police were able to get a fuzzy photo of two suspects, though it isn’t clear if they were involved in all recently reported incidents of theft at the store. Police are aware of eight thefts of handbags at the location at 133 Fifth Avenue since January 10.

On January 10, three handbags were taken. On January 13, another three bags were stolen. On January 16, two bags were stolen with another four, along with a keychain, stolen on January 20. On January 31, three handbags were stolen. On February 6, five Mercer bags, which range in price from $250-$500, were taken. Another three Mercers were stolen on February 10, which is the most recent known incident.

Continue reading

Man gets beatdown by group for his phone and headphones on East 28th Street

Robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for five people, possibly all teenagers, who assaulted a 19-year-old man for his headphones and cell phone on a street in NoMad.

The incident occurred on Monday, December 11, but police only released the information this week after an initial lead on a suspect didn’t pan out.

Continue reading

Former Beth Israel Karpas Center will be demolished

311 First Avenue was included in last year’s sale of Gilman Hall to the CIM Group. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The building that used to house Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Karpas Health Information Center has been sold and will soon be demolished.

The new owner filed an application to demolish the four-story property at 311 First Avenue and 18th Street, last October, and scaffolding now surrounds the property. There is not yet an application for new development although the razing of the building, which also has nine residential units, was said to be in preparation for an unspecified “plan.”

CIM Group, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment group and private equity firm, through an LLC called 305 First Avenue (NY), bought the property last March for $27.5 million from Mount Sinai, according to Acris records.

Continue reading

Kitten rescued from postal truck engine is still under observation

Melanie, a kitten rescued from a truck parked in Gramercy (Photo by Marilyn Pascarelli)

By Sabina Mollot

Melanie, the mostly blind kitten rescued from the engine of a postal truck last month, is still waiting for her forever home.

Holly Staver, a founding member of rescue organization City Critters, noted that the adorable black and white longhair kitten came close to getting adopted by a Stuy Town resident who wound up not being able to take her for some reason.

Meanwhile, Staver said Melanie may need further observation and specialized veterinary care as her reactions to some cats and other stimuli “are a bit dramatic.” This isn’t due to her limited vision, which hasn’t been a problem as she seems to gets around without problems.

Continue reading

Letters to the editor, Feb. 15

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Don’t deny ST girl her Boy Scout status

The following is an open letter from State Senator Brad Hoylman to Randall L. Stephenson, National President of Boy Scouts of America, asking that Sydney Ireland, a Stuy Town teenager and Boy Scout for 11 years, have her status as a Scout formally recognized by the BSA. In December, Town & Village reported on Ireland’s fight, alongside her family, to have female members’ contributions recognized. The BSA has said it would start allowing girls to be members, but not until 2019.

Dear Mr. Stephenson:

I write to you as an Eagle Scout (Troop 70, Lewisburg, WV) and New York State Senator on behalf of my constituent, Sydney Ireland. A lifelong Boy Scouts participant, Sydney successfully advocated for the official inclusion of girls in Boy Scouts of America programs this year. However, because your organization does not plan to implement the new membership policy for two years, Sydney, who is now 16, will age out before she can officially join a troop.

Continue reading

Rivera focused on mom-and-pops and affordable housing at tech hub

Council Member Carlina Rivera outside her district office in the East Village (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Newly-elected City Council Member Carlina Rivera spoke with members of the community media in a round-table discussion this week, covering affordable housing, the plight of small businesses and the transit woes affecting District 2.

Rivera, who took over the seat from Rosie Mendez, who was term-limited after 12 years in office, previously worked with Mendez as her legislative director and is a long-time community activist working in the East Village and the Lower East Side.

One of the subjects she brought up was the new “tech hub” the city is planning on East 14th Street, and Rivera said she wants to make sure affordable housing is factored into the plan.

“In terms of the zoning, it’s going to be important to look at how we can incentivize affordable housing,” she said. “People are worried that this tech hub is going to be a purely commercial development and one of the most important things we need is affordable housing.”

Continue reading

City is warehousing vacant lots intended for housing: Stringer

City Comptroller Scott Stringer is accusing the HPD of failing to meet its own target dates for taking actions on available properties.

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer blasted the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development, saying that at the rate it’s been working to turn over 1,000 vacant city-owned lots into affordable housing, it’ll take 17 years to get them all breaking ground.

His announcement followed a report he issued in 2016 that showed the city was warehousing over 1,100 vacant lots.

Out of those properties, Stringer said nearly 90 percent (1,007) have remained undeveloped. HPD, he said, has transferred only 64 to developers and 54 others have been transferred to other city agencies for their use. Additionally, some properties have remained vacant for 50 years.

Stringer noted that while the city has intended to turn hundreds of these lots into affordable housing, it has failed to meet its own target dates for taking action on 80 percent of them. Stringer is calling for all of the city-owned lots to be used for over 50,000 units of permanent affordable housing and for HPD to create a “realistic” timetable to either make this happen or turn the properties over to other agencies or developers.

Continue reading

East 17th Street shelter will open in April

Bowery Residents Committee CEO Muzzy Rosenblatt speaks at a meeting on Tuesday about a Safe Haven shelter that’s now being renovated. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A new Safe Haven shelter the city is opening on East 17th Street in a former Beth Israel AIDS hospice is expected to be operational by early April, according to its operator, the Bowery Residents Committee.

Members of Community Board 6’s housing, homeless and human rights committee held a meeting about the shelter on Tuesday night, with BRC CEO Muzzy Rosenblatt providing updates. This was the first meeting on the subject since another one for neighborhood organizations was held last July.

At that time, Rosenblatt predicted that the shelter would be operational by Labor Day of last year after minor repairs but on Tuesday, he said renovations at the building, which is owned by Mount Sinai, were more extensive than anticipated.

“At that point, we hadn’t actually seen the elevator in the building but we were making projections based on previous city dealings with elevators,” he said. “Once we saw the elevator, we realized that it actually needed to be replaced, which takes longer because the elevator has to be site-specific, but that work is now underway and we don’t anticipate any further delays.”

Continue reading

Police Watch: Assault in Kips Bay, Man arrested for theft

MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT OF WOMAN ON KIPS BAY STREET
Police arrested 31-year-old Lindell Caulet for an alleged assault in front of 121 East 24th Street last Sunday at 6:43 p.m. The victim told police that Caulet punched her on the side of the head, knocking her head into a pole on the sidewalk. The victim said that she suffered from pain and swelling on the side of her head as a result of the incident. Police did not have further information about what started the incident.

SUSPECT BUSTED FOR THEFT FROM KIPS BAY APARTMENT
Police arrested 34-year-old Terrence O’Connell for alleged petit larceny and possession of stolen property in the victim’s apartment on Third Avenue near East 28th Street last Sunday at 5:01 p.m. The victim told police that she knew O’Connell and he had slept at her apartment but when she woke up the next morning, she realized that he had taken her iPad, cash, some of her clothing and jewelry.

Continue reading

Muggers threaten woman with hammers near Waterside: Cops

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A man and a teenager were charged with robbery on Saturday morning, soon after allegedly threatening a woman with hammers near the FDR Drive across from Waterside Plaza.

Police said that 23-year-old Thomas Blyden and a 16-year-old boy approached one of the victims at about 6 a.m. while she was walking west on East 25th Street between the FDR and First Avenue.

The victim said that Blyden and the teenager rushed her from behind, both of them allegedly wielding hammers while telling her, “Don’t say anything. Give me your money.”

The victim told police that she gave them all the cash she had before making a run for it towards First Avenue and headed north, while the suspects fled south on First Avenue. Police, however, caught up with the two suspects on First Avenue near East 22nd Street about 15 minutes later.

Continue reading

Epstein secures Democratic nomination for Assembly

Harvey Epstein at Monday evening’s County Committee vote with a supporter, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (Photo courtesy of Harvey Epstein)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday night, the Manhattan Democratic Party County Committee unanimously nominated Urban Justice Center attorney Harvey Epstein for State Senator Brian Kavanagh’s vacated Assembly seat. However, the vote, held by about 200 county committee members at the Sirovich Senior Center, was technically already decided ahead of time when the two other Democrat candidates in the race, Sandro Sherrod and Mike Corbett, withdrew.

Corbett, a City Council aide and former president of New York Young Democrats, announced on Monday morning he was withdrawing and giving his support to Epstein.

In an email blast, he said it was clear Epstein had more backing from the party.

“I was especially honored to have the support of so many of you in this race,” wrote Corbett. “However, as we approach the County Committee vote tonight, I believe that the result is no longer in doubt. My friends, to paraphrase the musical Hamilton, I don’t have the votes.”

Continue reading

Former 21st precinct demolished, new building will be residential

Construction site at 327 East 22nd Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

A building in Gramercy that at one time was the 21st Precinct has been torn down and will be replaced with a residential building. The four-story property, 327 East 22nd Street between First and Second Avenues, had already been gutted for a couple of years and covered with a scaffolding but was finally demolished last month.

In 2014, developer Sam Suzuki of Suzuki Capital had bought the building for $11.5 million, planning to turn the building into luxury condos. However, according to Acris property records, he sold it to Atalaya, an alternative investment advisor in May 2017, who then sold it in September 2017 to Bin Yu Wang for $12 million. A deed transfer filed in November 2017 now shows a Suzuki-connected “Gramercy 1860 LLC” to be the new owner. Suzuki, meanwhile, has taken out three mortgages totaling $11.3 million from lender Calmwater Capital, the records show.

Continue reading

Men steal 11 purses from Flatiron Coach store

Suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Police are on the lookout for two thieves with expensive taste who stole 11 bags from the Flatiron Coach store.

On January 23 at around 12:30 p.m., one of the men strolled into the shop at 79 Fifth Avenue and 16th Street and took the purses, which together were valued at $3,000, from a display. He then fled the store and handed the goods to another man who’d been waiting outside.

Police didn’t have descriptions of the suspects but three fuzzy surveillance photos show men of slim build who were wearing dark hats and dark jackets.

The men may have been involved in other incidents, as a tweet from the 13th Precinct pointed out that they are wanted for larcenies at high-end stores where one man does the swiping while the other holds the door open.

Purse-snatching suspect arrested at Food Emporium

Union Square Food Emporium (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 39-year-old man for a string of alleged purse snatchings around Union Square last Tuesday afternoon. Daniel Negrin was busted inside the Food Emporium at 10 Union Square East after he allegedly took a woman’s purse that was on top of her shopping cart and tried to leave the store. A store security officer who saw the incident stopped Negrin as he was attempting to flee. Police said that video surveillance showed Negrin taking the victim’s bag out of her cart, and the victim told police that her bag contained credit cards as well as a Louis Vuitton organizer worth more than $1,000.

Continue reading