By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police busted a man for multiple burglaries after catching him trespassing in a residential building on West 26th Street last Saturday morning. Police said that they found Alan Panzano, 30, inside the stairwell near the 30th floor inside 55 West 26th Street at 6:07 a.m. last Saturday, reportedly with a backpack full of various keys and other tools commonly used for lock-picking.
Panzano allegedly told the officer who busted him that he was in the building to visit a friend named “Shawn White” who lives in “apartment 22C” but the superintendent told police there is no person named Shawn White who lives in the building and the building doesn’t have an apartment 22C. When he was arrested, Panzano was allegedly in possession of a stolen wallet with a gift card still inside. Police reportedly recovered 45 different keys, lock cylinders, latex gloves, assorted screwdrivers, wires with hooks at the ends, drills bits and WD40, all of which police said are commonly used to break into apartments.
According to the District Attorney’s office, a resident of 55 West 26th Street discovered that his wallet was missing from his apartment around 12:30 p.m. on May 21, and also noticed that his computer had been unplugged. He told police that his wallet contained a credit card, a debit card, a $60 Visa gift card and $60 in cash. Police said that surveillance video showed Panzano entering and leaving the West 26th Street building on that day.
The victim said that he checked the usage records for his credit card and found that it had been used without his permission in the Cowboy Wholesale Market at 28 West 27th Street to buy a cell phone for $140, to buy a New Jersey Transit ticket at Penn Station and had been charged $197.55 at a Walmart in Linden, NJ.
Police obtained video surveillance from the Cowboy Wholesale Market that shows Panzano reportedly using the victim’s credit card to buy the cell phone. Police said that they showed Panzano a photographic still from the surveillance video and he allegedly identified it as himself.
Another resident of 55 West 26th Street told police that she realized her designer purse containing assorted property, including four credit cards, was missing from her apartment around 11 a.m. on May 22 and police said that Panzano had entered her apartment without permission and took the bag.
According to the District Attorney’s office, Panzano admitted that he had committed the burglaries at 55 West 26th Street on May 21 and 22, as well as other burglaries there and in other buildings. Police said that Panzano was also in possession of a glassine envelope of methamphetamine that was inside his backpack.
Panzano was charged with burglary, criminal possession of a controlled substance, grand larceny, identity theft, criminal trespass, possession of burglar’s tools and possession of stolen property.