Local cops catch teens wanted for burglaries citywide

Cops at the 13th precinct were honored this week. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Multiple officers of the 13th precinct were honored with the Cop of the Month award at the most recent Community Council meeting this past Tuesday for catching a pair of teenagers responsible for late-night burglaries throughout the city and others wanted for various shoplifting incidents.

The officers on the night tour who were honored at the meeting included Sergeant Isaac Acevedo and police officers William Blum, Nicholas Clemente, John McCormick, Charles Morro and Robert Rufrano. The officers who work on the day tour who were honored were Lieutenant James Grillo, who will also be retiring soon, Sergeant Edward Faini and police officers Brendan Bellew, Danny Bermeo, Mahmoud Khaled, Thomas Knudsen, Joseph Orlando and Sutcliff Rattan.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman said that officers who work in the overnight hours spotted the suspects wanted for the burglaries, recognized because they had been caught on surveillance footage in previous incidents, but knew that the District Attorney’s office wouldn’t charge them just based on previous burglaries, so they had to catch them in the act.

“They followed them up Lexington Avenue into the 17th precinct and caught them on a live burg, and that closed out 35 burglaries citywide,” Hellman said.

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Tenants Association files lawsuit against Blackstone

Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg with local elected officials last Thursday (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association filed a lawsuit against property owner Blackstone last week in response to an attempt to deregulate more than 6,000 apartments.

Blackstone is attempting to deregulate units that are currently under the J-51 tax exemption, which expires at the end of June, and increase rents on those apartments for leases renewed or starting in July or later. The private equity firm is arguing that the regulatory agreement Blackstone signed with the city in 2015 supersedes the rent laws the state legislature passed last June, but tenant advocates and local elected officials argued at a press conference in Stuy Town last Thursday that the rent laws abolished deregulation all apartments, regardless of previous agreements.

“The new law is clear and unambiguous,” Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg said. “Blackstone Group is of the opinion that these pro-tenant reforms do not apply to them. We disagree. They cannot disregard state rent law and raise rents and deregulate units as if the law had never been changed.”

State elected officials at the press conference said that they were very specific when writing the rent laws that passed and that Blackstone was not interpreting the law as it was intended.

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