Police Watch: Men wanted for medication thefts, cell phone thefts

Surveillance photo of suspect

MAN WANTED FOR STRING OF MEDICATION THEFTS
Police are looking for a man believed to be behind a pattern of over-the-counter medication thefts that occurred in Gramercy, Midtown, the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side.
It was reported to the police that on Tuesday, February 21 at 10:05 p.m., an unidentified man entered the Duane Reade located at 125 Third Avenue near East 14th Street and stole various medicationsfrom the shelves then fled in an unknown direction. The same man is suspected in eight other incidents from January 9 through February 23, with the suspect hitting Duane Reades on First and Second Avenue and Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side, as well as other locations of the chain on Columbus Avenue.
The individual is described as a black man, 30 to 40 years old, 5’ 10”, and was last seen wearing a gray jacket above a gray sweatshirt and a hat.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Cell phone theft suspect

MAN WANTED FOR THEFTS FROM CELL PHONE STORES
Police are still looking for a man wanted in connection with a number of cell phone thefts in Gramercy, Midtown North and South, and the Upper West Side.
The man is suspected of cutting the security devices on two cell phones inside a Verizon store at 395 Third Avenue on Sunday, January 22 around 5:15 p.m. and he is suspected of committing similar crimes at AT&T, Metro PCS and T-Mobile stores throughout the city in January. Last Friday, police also connected the man to an additional theft inside an AT&T store at 2066 Broadway on the Upper West Side, when he removed two cell phones before fleeing in an unknown direction.
The suspect is described as a man who is 5’10”, 165lb-175lbs and was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a quarter-length overcoat. He has a distinctive scar on the left side of his head right above the ear.
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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Robberies, burglaries up in the 13th Precinct

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The number of robberies and burglaries within the confines of the 13th Precinct have spiked in the last month, although crime in the last 28-day period is down 31 percent overall.

The precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, reported the increases at the most recent 13th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday night, noting that robberies are up 33 percent and burglaries are up 44 percent. This includes a number of bank robberies and Timoney said this isn’t just a local problem.

“We’ve been seeing these significant robberies all over the city, not just in the 13th, but we have a great record of arresting these guys,” he said.

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Man gropes woman inside East 24th Street building

Mar30 groperCops are on the lookout for a man who followed a woman into her building on East 24th Street and Lexington Avenue and groped her before taking off.

According to police on Monday, March 20 at around 6 a.m., the suspect followed the woman into the building and into the elevator. Once inside he grabbed her breasts over and under her shirt. The victim managed to push him off though, and he ran out of the building, heading east on 24th Street.

The victim, 54, wasn’t injured.

The suspect is described as black, 45 to 50 years old and 5’6″ to 5’7″ tall. He last seen wearing a green hat, a green jacket, black and white sweatpants and black and white sneakers.

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 the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police Watch: Man arrested for failed mugging, ‘Grinder’ busted in Union Square

MAN NABBED FOR FAILED MUGGING
Police arrested 51-year-old Kenneth Brwon for attempted robbery after, they said, he tried to snatch a woman’s purse and canvas shopping bags from her shoulder.
According to the district attorney, while at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 23rd Street last Sunday at 1 a.m., Brwon continued to pull on the victim’s bags even when multiple passersby intervened, and even when the victim struggled to get away by getting into a taxi.
When it was clear he wasn’t going to get the woman’s belongings, he allegedly attempted to flee but was arrested soon after.

‘GRINDER’ ARRESTED IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 24-year-old Kavon Morgan for sexual abuse at East 14th Street and Union Square East last Thursday at 7:30 a.m. Police said that Morgan used his sweatshirt to hide his erection and proceeded to thrust his hips and rub his groin area against the victim’s buttocks multiple times.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘COCAINE’ IN GRAMERCY
Thirty-year-old Josh Lewis was arrested for possession of a controlled substance in front of 38 Gramercy Park East last Friday at 7:09 p.m. Police said that Lewis snorted cocaine from his right hand while on the sidewalk, and alleged cocaine was recovered from his pockets when he was searched.

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Police Watch: Woman arrested after swallowing lit joint, Man arrested for unprovoked attack

WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER SWALLOWING LIT JOINT
Police arrested 24-year-old Ashley Balbuena for criminal tampering and possession of marijuana in front of 72 East 26th Street last Thursday at 11:10 p.m. Police said that Balbuena was smoking a joint on the sidewalk in public view and when an officer approached her and identified himself, Balbuena allegedly attempted to eat and swallow the lit joint. Police said that she was informed several times that she would be arrested if she swallowed the joint but she continued to do so. Balbuena was arrested and taken to Bellevue Hospital.

MAN ARRESTED AFTER UNPROVOKED ATTACK
Police arrested 22-year-old Thomas Blyden after he allegedly assaulted a passerby unprovoked at the corner of East 25th Street and First Avenue last Wednesday at 8:52 p.m. Police said that Blyden punched a man he didn’t know for no apparent reason. When police attempted to confront him, Blyden allegedly fled and when officers caught up with him, he allegedly tensed his body to prevent being handcuffed. Blyden was charged with assault and resisting arrest.

MAN NABBED FOR BURGLARY AT EPIPHANY
Thirty-year-old Tony Scott was arrested for burglary inside 239 East 21st Street last Wednesday at 7:50 p.m. Scott allegedly entered the commercial office inside the church and removed property without permission. Police said that Scott did not have permission to be inside the office. No further information was available about what was taken.

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Woman pushed down and mugged on 27th

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 21-year-old Derrick Coley for mugging a woman on West 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues last Wednesday around 5 p.m. The victim told police that Coley pushed her to the ground and he allegedly grabbed her cell phone before fleeing.

The victim said that she had credit cards in her cell phone case and after the incident, she noticed that one of the cards had been used to make a purchase at McDonald’s and Coley was arrested soon after, allegedly in possession of the phone and cards.

Coley was charged with robbery, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

Man arrested for crashing drone into Waterside apt.

Karma drone

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 24-year-old man last Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. for crashing his drone through an apartment window at Waterside Plaza last Saturday. Shane Smith, a resident of East 33rd Street, reportedly flew the toy through the window of a 66-year-old resident’s apartment.

Peter Davis, general manager of Waterside Plaza, told Town & Village after the incident that flying drones in the area is especially dangerous because Waterside Plaza is adjacent to spots where helicopters and seaplanes frequently land.

A representative for DCPI said it was likely that investigators tracked the drone back to Smith through the registered serial number.

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Letters to the Editor, Mar. 9

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

New Yorkers for immigrant rights

To the editor,

Today, some of our worst fears are fast becoming reality. In his first days in office, President Trump signed orders attacking women’s rights and environmental protections, and moved to restrict entry to the United States from majority Muslim countries and ban Syrian refugees. He also targeted sanctuary cities like New York City.

The Workmen’s Circle was founded by immigrants who arrived in the early 1900s in a United States that was not always welcoming to them. They had to fight for fair paying jobs, safe working conditions, decent housing, education and adequate healthcare, and the Workmen’s Circle responded by organizing activist communities to successfully work for a better world for all. Many of these same rights are now under attack, and we again pledge to organize and empower communities to fight back.

In New York City, we joined a Vigil with the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), one of a number of rallies across the country. The presence of so many New Yorkers from diverse communities sent a strong message of support for Muslim and immigrant rights.

The landscape ahead will be one of rollbacks to civil liberties and human rights. Here in New York, we can continue to show the country – and world – that we will stand strong against such hate and intolerance.

Ann Toback
Executive Director
The Workmen’s Circle

The Workmen’s Circle is a Jewish educational and social justice organization based out of 247 West 37th Street.

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Police Watch: Man arrested for punching senior, Drunk driver arrested after fleeing accident

MAN ARRESTED FOR PUNCHING SENIOR AND ANOTHER VICTIM IN KIPS BAY
Police arrested 38-year-old Earl Davis for assault at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 29th Street last Tuesday at 9:47 a.m. after he allegedly punched two strangers in the face unprovoked, one of whom was a senior. Davis allegedly approached a 30-year-old victim and punched him in the nose, causing his nose to bleed and causing severe swelling and redness. The victim was taken to NYU Langone Medical Center.
Davis was charged with the second assault this past Monday after a 70-year-old man reported that he was the victim of an unprovoked attack in front of 369 Third Avenue at 27th Street earlier on that same Tuesday. Davis is being evaluated in the psychiatric unit at Bellevue Hospital, police said, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said that Davis has not been arraigned yet.

‘DRUNK’ DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER FLEEING ACCIDENT
Police arrested 24-year-old Dominic Logue for unauthorized use of vehicle and intoxicated driving at the corner of Irving Place and East 16th Street last Monday at 11:43 a.m. Police said that Logue was sitting in the passenger’s seat of the car south of East 14th Street in the Ninth Precinct and an officer told him that the car wasn’t allowed to be parked there, so he got into the driver’s seat to move it. In the process, he allegedly crashed into four other vehicles. Police said that Logue smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech, and after causing the damage, he allegedly attempted to flee the scene. Logue was also charged as an unlicensed operator, leaving the scene of an accident and an unclassified traffic infraction. No injuries were reported as a result of the collision.

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Thefts from homes up in 13th Precinct

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The 13th Precinct has seen a spike in the theft of unattended property recently, in part thanks to criminally rude dates.

The precinct’s commanding officer Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney said that bar-hoppers have getting stolen from after inviting strangers up to their apartments and waking up the next morning to discover that items had been stolen.

Timoney discussed the crimes at the most recent community council meeting at the end of last month.

The deputy inspector also pointed to thefts by hired help as one of the culprits for the increase. The NYPD has previously said that 50 complaints have been made of residential thefts in the city, allegedly committed by apartment cleaners hired through the app Handy, and Timoney reiterated that residents should be wary services that give employees access to residents’ apartments.

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TA says: More boots on the ground needed, better interior lighting

Susan Steinberg

ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Following StuyTown Property Services announcing new efforts to make the complex safer, Susan Steinberg, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, responded with the TA’s own view, which is that equipment is nice, but live patrols are better. The TA also recommended more interior lighting. Read on for the association’s statements.

In the wake of the sexual attack on a young Stuy Town resident in her building vestibule in the early morning of February 19, The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is once again speaking up for two vital safety measures we have been requesting for years: More foot patrols, especially at night, and far better lighting of interior paths.

General Manager Rick Hayduk’s follow-up communication to residents was a timely reminder of the emergency equipment already available: blue-lighted stanchions throughout the community, “security” buttons on lobby intercoms, the manned central video security screen system, and foot and car patrols 24/7.

Addressing future improvements, he cited plans to work with security consultants to identify where “new and additional equipment can be placed to enhance coverage.”

We at the TA insist that far more important than additional electronic wonders is a seriously enlarged force of on-foot public safety personnel and more small vehicles always on the move. It was just such a band of visible, on-foot and on-wheels security personnel constantly patrolling the property and checking the stairwells of each building every day that once made this community the lowest crime area in the city.

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Police arrest subway groping suspect

mar2-police

Groping suspect, identified as David Cruz

By Sabina Mollot

A homeless man was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly groping two women on the subway in Flatiron.

The man, identified as 33-year-old David Cruz, wore a Santa hat and rose colored glasses during the incidents, which both took place around the same time.

Cops say Cruz has a lengthy rap sheet with 17 arrests, running from minor crimes like turnstile hopping and petty larceny to more serious ones like assault, burglary, sale of marijuana and tampering with evidence.

On the evening of February 8, police said Cruz grabbed a 32-year-old woman’s butt as she waited on the platform at the 23rd Street R/W station. Then he allegedly hung around before doing the same thing to a 34-year-old woman on his way up the stairs to the street. The victims reported the incidents separately at later times.

Cruz has been charged with two counts of forcible touching.

Police Watch: Man arrested for swinging crowbar at McDonald’s, Man wanted for cell phone store thefts

MAN NABBED FOR SWINGING CROWBAR AND MAKING THREATS MCDONALD’S
Police arrested 38-year-old George Boone for menacing inside the McDonald’s at 26 East 23rd Street last Thursday at 8:58 a.m. The victim told police that he was waiting in line at the restaurant when Boone allegedly came up behind him and began swinging a metal crowbar at him. The victim said that Boone said, “Who wants to die today?”

Cell phone theft suspect

Cell phone theft suspect

MAN WANTED FOR MULTIPLE CELL PHONE STORE THEFTS
The NYPD is looking for a man believed to be behind a string of thefts from cell phone stores in Gramercy, Midtown and the Upper West Side.
The suspect reportedly swiped two cell phones from a Verizon Store at 395 Third Avenue on Sunday, January 22 at 5:15 p.m. by cutting the security devices. Police said that he fled in an unknown direction.
Earlier in the month on Saturday, January 7 at 3:25 p.m., the suspect took two cell phones from an AT&T Store located at 2066 Broadway near West 72nd Street and fled without paying. Twenty minutes later, he reportedly cut the security devices on two cell phones inside a Metro PC store located at 664 Ninth Avenue at West 46th Street and fled without paying.
On January 18 at 6:35 p.m., the suspect reportedly entered a T-Mobile store at 610 Ninth Avenue near West 43rd Street and removed two cell phones by cutting the security devices, then fled north on Ninth Avenue.
The suspect is described as 5’10”, 165-175 lbs. and was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a quarter-length over coat. He has a distinctive scar on the left side of his head right above the ear.
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents 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 the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.

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Man wanted for gropings at 23rd St. R/W station

Groping suspect

Groping suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for a man who groped multiple women while donning out-of-season headwear in the Flatiron District earlier this month.

Police said that the unidentified man approached a 32-year-old woman on the platform of the 23rd Street R/W station on February 8 between 7 and 7:30 p.m. and grabbed her buttocks before exiting the subway system. He then allegedly grabbed a 34-year-old woman on the buttocks while she was on the stairs going up to the street level. Police said that the man then walked west on West 22nd Street. The two incidents were reported separately at later times.

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 the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips and TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are strictly confidential.

Man in jail for assaulting his mother in her Stuyvesant Town apartment

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 48-year-old Stuyvesant Town man arrested for assaulting his mother is currently in jail for the crime, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney reported at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council on Tuesday.

Timoney, the commanding officer of the precinct, noted at the meeting that police were aware of the man’s abuse of his mother prior to the arrest but he was finally caught after he assaulted her in her Stuyvesant Town apartment.

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