Police Watch: Stuy Town ‘burglar’ arrested, teens busted for ‘fake’ cash

Police arrested 35-year-old Megan Burke for burglary and assault inside 287 Avenue C last Monday at 7:02 p.m. Police said that one of the victims found Burke inside the other victim’s apartment after realizing that Burke had taken her keys from her purse. Burke was allegedly in possession of the victim’s jewelry and when the women confronted her, police said that Burke punched one of the victims in the stomach and slapped her in the face.

Police arrested 26-year-old Lile Ou for forgery in front of 822 Sixth Avenue last Wednesday at 1:50 p.m. Police said that Ou was trying to sell eight cell phone cases that bore a trademark counterfeit logo for Chanel.

A 16-year-old was arrested in front of 10 Union Square West last Wednesday at 3:10 p.m. for possession of stolen property. The teen, whose name is being withheld by Town & Village, was allegedly in possession of a stolen phone and police said that he was attempting to sell it on the street for $500.

Police arrested two 19-year-olds for forgery in front of a Starbucks at 10 Union Square East last Wednesday at 3:10 p.m. Jermaine Rivera and Marcell Sullivan were allegedly counting counterfeit money inside Starbucks before leaving to buy property from a third person with the counterfeit cash. When they were searched, they were allegedly in possession of stolen property.

Police arrested Luis Perez, 26, inside the IHOP at 235 East 14th Street for theft last Wednesday at 11:53 p.m. Perez allegedly ate a meal inside the restaurant then refused to pay. Police said that the cost of the meal was $17.18.

Police arrested 29-year-old Jose Tenen for possession of stolen property inside the 13th Precinct last Thursday at 10:50 a.m. Police said that Tenen was in possession of an Apple laptop that was stolen on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 from inside 12 West 17th Street.

Police arrested 28-year-old Andres Ocampo for grand larceny in front of 592 Sixth Avenue last Thursday at 11 a.m. Police said that Ocampo stole three cell phones, including a Samsung Note 3, from the location and was working with Willis Vazquez, who was also arrested. The two men allegedly left the location together. The Samsung phone was valued at $750 and the other two were valued at $1,240 together.

Police arrested 53-year-old Christopher Wallace for petit larceny inside 14 East 28th Street last Thursday at 6:03 p.m. Police said that Wallace removed a bag belonging to another tenant from the back of a chair in the common room. Wallace allegedly didn’t return the bag to security when asked and when he was being place under arrest, police said that he flailed his arms, pushed officers and attempted to keep his arms tucked into his body to prevent being handcuffed. Wallace was also charged with resisting arrest.

Police arrested 24-year-old Leo Edelman for allegedly swiping a customer’s bag at the Starbucks at 41 Union Square West on February 17. Edelman was arrested for burglar’s tools and petit larceny last Friday at 1:15 a.m. inside the 13th Precinct.

Police arrested 56-year-old George Fantaquisakis for sexual abuse inside the Union Square subway station last Friday at 9:20 a.m. Fantaquisakis allegedly grabbed a woman’s buttocks while standing behind her on a downtown 5 train.

Thirty-year-old Jahad Mitchell was arrested last Friday at 12:39 p.m. for thefts that occurred inside Midtown Electric Supply at 157 West 18th Street. Mitchell allegedly entered the store and told employees that he worked for Team Electric at 20 West 36th Street and needed electrical supplies. Police said that Team Electric later told the store that those purchases were not authorized and Mitchell was not authorized to make purchases on their behalf.
The next day, Mitchell allegedly entered the store again and billed Team Electric. An employee at the store then realized that Mitchell was the same person who had acquired property the previous day under false pretenses. Police said that Mitchell attempted to acquire electrical equipment from the store under the same pretense on another day but when he was confronted by staff, he fled in a van registered to 1 Arlington Electric at 307 West 38th Street. The officer then went to the address listed on the van where Mitchell was found and arrested.

Fifty-year-old Lawrence Dear was arrested for perjury and filing a false report inside the Union Square subway station last Saturday at 5:28 p.m. Dear allegedly told police that two men bumped into him from behind and stole his luggage valued at $10,340. Upon further investigation, police said that he wrote in a written statement that he lost the luggage on the street. He allegedly told police, “I didn’t walk into the subway station, I didn’t get bumped. I checked the ‘stolen’ box because I thought it looked stupid.”

Police arrested two people involved in a fight over the bathroom at 346 East 21st Street, home to Grill 21 restaurant, last Sunday at 2:46 p.m. A teenager and 37-year-old Elizabeth Brandon allegedly got into an argument over who was going to be using the bathroom. Brandon allegedly threw a lock at the teen, which hit his leg. Police said that the teen put Brandon into a headlock, causing a bruise to her forehead and redness to her neck.

Garodnick bill would give tenants more notice for apt. inspections

Council Member Dan Garodnick discusses new legislation inspired by complaints from Stuyvesant Town residents about lack of notice for inspections and non-emergency work in their apartments. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Council Member Dan Garodnick discusses new legislation inspired by complaints from Stuyvesant Town residents about lack of notice for inspections and non-emergency work in their apartments. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

For tenants in Stuyvesant Town, getting a notice that one’s apartment is going to be inspected by management or partially torn up by a maintenance crew as part a neighboring apartment’s renovation is a bit like being summoned for jury duty. A disruptive pain, but also an unavoidable fact of life if you want to be law-abiding.

However, this week, Council Member Dan Garodnick said he plans to introduce legislation that would give tenants on the receiving end of such notices more lead time, and more information as to the nature of the work. While owners are allowed by law to inspect apartments or gain access for work the owner deems necessary, there isn’t always much in the way of notice for impacted tenants. On Monday, Garodnick, while surrounded by tenants on First Avenue, said his bill would change this.

Currently, the law says an owner must give a tenant 24 hours notice prior to when an inspection is conducted. The bill, if passed, would change that to 72 hours. It would also increase the amount of notice that must be given for non-emergency work, currently one week, to two weeks. Additionally, tenants would have to be notified of the scheduled visits by notices delivered by hand as well as by email, if the tenant has provided an email address. The notices would also have to be bi-lingual and include the reason for the requested entry and how much time would be required in an apartment. The notice would also have to include information about the legislation.

“We want to reduce the number of situations where tenants are surprised by an inspection or repair work,” Garodnick said, “and we want to make sure that proper notice is given.” He also noted that some tenants have been upset about not having the opportunity to be present during the appointments.

CWCapital has conducted many inspections of ST/PCV apartments in the past couple of years with workers looking at things like appliance types and checking for room dividers, which has led some residents to wonder if those in unrenovated units, paying lower rents, were being targeted. Garodnick said he’s heard these concerns, but has not seen any evidence that would back up such claims.

He also said he hadn’t heard of any recent wave of inspections, although inspections are still an ongoing process.

Also on hand during Monday’s announcement was Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg, who called the current inspection process a “pervasive abuse” of tenants, citing an instance when a resident, after getting out of the shower, was caught by surprise by the arrival of maintenance workers and another time when a tenant’s teenage daughter, home alone, was walked in on. She said she’d also heard of tenants leaving town, “only to come back to find the apartment in shambles.”

Garodnick said the bill would be introduced on Wednesday and that he was drumming up support for it within the Council.

He clearly already has some support among neighbors though.

One tenant at the announcement, Peggy Smith, told Town & Village she’d twice been notified that her apartment was being inspected. The first time she was told it was for illegal room dividers.

“I got very little notice,” she said, but she also recalled being able to reschedule at a date that was more convenient than the date management had originally suggested. But then, after the inspection was conducted, Smith was informed she’d be inspected again.

Fortunately for her, when she inquired as to the reason, she learned the notice of a return visit was actually a mistake.

But, Smith said, “It was very stressful, I have to say, because you don’t know what in particular they’re looking for.”

Another resident, a retiree who didn’t want her name mentioned, said just this week she was visited by someone claiming to need access to her apartment for an inspection. The inspector came before 8 a.m. when she wasn’t yet fully dressed, so the woman said she refused him entry, explaining that the timing wasn’t convenient. In response, she said he “was very polite” and left. Two days later, she received a notice in the mail that her apartment was to be inspected on Monday, March 16 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

A spokesperson for CWCapital did not respond to a request for comment.