Police on lookout for phony basketball team now on robbery spree

The five robbery suspects seen at Blue Smoke restaurant in Flatiron

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for five young black men in connection with a number of robberies committed under the guise of raising money for a community basketball team. Most recently, they robbed a man at Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke barbecue restaurant in Flatiron on Sunday evening.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, told community members at a community council meeting on Tuesday that police have identified at least one of the suspects as a 15-year-old boy who has previously been arrested for violent assaults and robberies throughout Manhattan.

In other recent incidents, the boy and four others whose ages are unknown have gone up to victims while holding a clipboard to solicit donations for a basketball team that doesn’t exist.

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Two women violently mugged on Avenue B

Mar22 Ave B mugger

Robbery suspect, pictured at a building on Avenue B near 13th Street

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who violently robbed two women in their East Village apartment buildings on St. Patrick’s Day.

At about 12:30 a.m. ion Saturday, a man followed a 22-year-old woman into her building lobby at East 13th Street and Avenue B. He then threw her to the ground and punched her several times. He grabbed her bag before fleeing the scene.

At about 2 a.m. the same man followed a 31-year-old woman into her building in the vicinity of Houston and Avenue B. Claiming he had a gun, he pushed her into a corner and demanded money. When the victim refused he struck her over her left eye, leaving her with a cut. He then grabbed her bag, which contained $40 and credit cards and fled east on 2nd Street.

Both victims refused medical attention at the scene.

The suspect is described as Hispanic and about 5’10.” He was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark blue sweat pants, white sneakers and white cap.

Mar22 Ave B mugger2

Robbery suspect

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

Man charged with stealing thousands of dollars worth of bags from Flatiron stores

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man believed to be responsible for a number of thefts from high-end designer stores in the Flatiron area since January. Kevin Gonzalez, 36, has been charged with grand larceny and petit larceny in connection with four thefts from the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue and the Michael Kors store at 133 Fifth Avenue.

According to the district attorney’s office, Gonzalez entered the Coach store on January 22 around 1:35 p.m. and stole several items from the store, including three purses. Representatives for the store told the DA’s office that the merchandise was valued at $1,080.

The next day, Gonzalez allegedly returned to the store and swiped three purses, in addition to other items, which were valued at a total of $2,315.

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Office cleaner charged with burglarizing client’s office

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A cleaning company employee has been arrested for allegedly burglarizing an office he had access to through his job, police said. Christian Holmes, 25, was arrested on Tuesday, February 27 for reportedly stealing laptops from an office at 122 West 26th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues last December.

Police said that video surveillance showed two individuals wearing hoods, masks and gloves entering the lobby of the building at 3 a.m. on December 12, 2017 using an access key card and allegedly entered the offices of Skipper, a company on the 11th floor of the building, using an office key. When the two individuals got back on the elevator on the 11th floor at 4:13 a.m., they were allegedly carrying full bags that were previously empty.

The DA’s office said that the face of the individual who used the elevator access card and key was partially visible on the surveillance video when the two were getting into the elevator and another employee for the cleaning company identified the person as Holmes.

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UPDATED: Kips Bay Ricky’s shop robbed at gunpoint

Mar15 rickys robbery

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who robbed a Ricky’s beauty supply store in Kips Bay at gunpoint.

Police said that on Wednesday night, the man walked into the business at 369 Third Avenue and 27th Street, turned a gun on a worker and demanded cash. The employee turned over $217 and the robber fled north on Third Avenue. No one was injured in the incident.

The suspect is described as being black, in his 40s and about 5 ft. 8 ins. tall.

Representatives for Ricky’s, which has 19 locations, declined to comment.

Anyone with information is asked to call the 13th Precinct Detective Squad at (212) 477-7444.

UPDATE: Police have linked the suspect to two other robberies.

On Sunday, February 18 at approximately 10:35 p.m., police believe the same man turned a gun on an employee at a Harlem 7-Eleven at 1400 5th Avenue.  He then jumped over the counter and helped himself to $100 from the register before fleeing.

On Sunday, March 11 at almost 9 p.m., the man robbed a 47-year-old woman in  her car in Brooklyn. Police say he opened the door of a Ford Explorer that was double parked in front of a Brooklyn bakery at 139 Smith Street and turned a gun on the driver.  The victim was able to escape the car, but the gunman got away with her purse, which contained $200 in cash, four credit cards and four debit cards. The suspect fled east on Dean Street.

Police Watch: Man accused of threats, Pregnant woman assaulted

Police arrested 35-year-old Adam Torres for alleged weapons possession, menacing and harassment in front of 39 West 21st Street last Sunday at 4:05 a.m. Police responded to the location because of a call about a man with a gun. The victim said that Torres threatened to kill the staff and patrons at a nearby nightclub and she told police that she was in fear for her and her patron’s safety. Police said that Torres was in possession of an ice pick when he was arrested. No further information was available about which nightclub the incident occurred in.

Police recently arrested 23-year-old Jennifer Kryzinski for an alleged assault that took place at the corner of East 18th Street and Broadway last Thursday at 1 p.m. Police said that Kryzinski and the victim, who is pregnant, got into an argument that turned into a physical fight and the suspect allegedly pushed the victim into a rock and threw her to the ground, causing pain to her stomach. Police said that Kryzinski and the victim were friends. Kryzinski was arrested at the 13th precinct later the same day at 2:32 p.m.

Police arrested 36-year-old Elsayed Elshafy and 58-year-old Robert Romero for allegedly assaulting each other in front of 10 Union Square East last Thursday at 7:03 p.m. Romero called the police to report an incident that had happened the previous night and said that he and Elshafy got into an argument that turned into a physical fight. Romero said that when he was attempting to walk away, Elshafy hit him in the back of the head with a pipe, causing cuts and bruises. Romero allegedly swung a shopping cart at Elshafy, causing shoulder pain and cuts.
Police said that Romero was transported to Bellevue Hospital for treatment but Elshafy refused medical assistance. A number of businesses reside at the incident location and police did not have further information about where specifically the fight occurred.

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Suspect charged with swiping bag full of cash and jewelry from Flatiron club

Mar8 larceny suspect1

Bag theft suspect one

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested one of the women who allegedly worked together to steal a bag full of cash and jewelry from a boxer who was partying at Jay-Z’s 40/40 nightclub.

Sarah Morin, a 40-year-old resident of Enfield, Connecticut, was arrested at the 13th Precinct in Gramercy on Tuesday morning. However, it wasn’t clear if she turned herself in due to the media attention the incident’s gotten or was brought in.

Police said that on Sunday at about 3 a.m., the 27-year-old victim, who has been identified in news reports as boxer Jermall Charlo, was at the club in Flatiron when he got into an argument with another patron that turned physical. However, once the fight was over and he went back to his seat, he realized that his bag, which he said had $40,000 in cash and $115,000 worth of jewelry, was gone.

Mar8 Larceny suspect2

Bag theft suspect two

Police said Morin was the blonde woman seen in surveillance photos with four other female suspects carrying the victim’s bag. She’s been charged with grand larceny in the second degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree. The NYPD isn’t aware of any prior arrests.

The four other suspects seen at the club, all described as Hispanic women wearing short or tight dresses, have not yet been arrested.

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).

Mar8 Larceny suspects 3 4 5

Bag theft suspects three, four and five

‘Inheritance baby’ stiffed cabbie, cops say

Facebook photo of Maxine Hansen

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 26-year-old Maxine Hansen, who previously arrested in the precinct for allegedly drugging a man and stealing from him and reportedly broadcasting a drug-fueled party on a live Facebook video, for allegedly skipping out on cab fare last Saturday night.

After a taxi driver flagged down officers because a customer wouldn’t pay the fare, Hansen, a self-proclaimed “inheritance baby,” reportedly told police that she did not have the means to pay for the ride after officers gave her multiple opportunities to do so. No further information was available about where specifically the incident took place.

Hansen was most recently arrested in the precinct when she and two friends allegedly drugged a man in his sister’s apartment and reportedly stole laptops, credit cards and clothing. Hansen also appeared in a number of tabloids at the end of 2016 after the arrest related to the Facebook live video, which reportedly showed multiple BB guns in a Gramercy Park Hotel room, and police reportedly found heroin, methamphetamines and other drugs when Hansen and three other people were arrested.

Hansen was charged with theft of services inside the precinct around 9:30 p.m. Her attorney could not be reached for comment before T&V’s press time.

Cops looking for bank robber

Police say this man robbed three Manhattan banks.

Cops are asking for assistance in finding a man believed to be behind three bank robberies in Manhattan, including one in Kips Bay.

On December 29, the suspect strolled into a Chase Bank at 450 Third Avenue and East 32nd Street and demanded cash from a teller. The teller complied and he fled with over $2,600.

On Thursday, February 22, he robbed another Chase Bank located at 475 West 23rd Street and 10th Avenue, getting away with an undetermined amount of cash.

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Women wanted for stealing bag full of cash and jewelry at Flatiron club

Bag theft suspects three, four and five

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are trying to find five women who allegedly stole a bag containing $40,000 in cash and $115,000-worth of jewelry from a man partying at Jay-Z’s 40/40 nightclub in Flatiron.

Police said that on Sunday, March 4 at about 3 a.m. inside the club at 6 West 25th Street and Fifth Avenue, a 27-year-old man, later identified by The Post as boxer Jermall Charlo, got into an argument with another man that turned physical. However, once the fight was over and Charlo went back to his seat, he realized his bag was gone.

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‘Scammer’ psychic charged with using stolen ID for apt.

Christine Evans was evicted from the building after owing over $49,000 in back rent. (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a woman once charged with a “curse removal” scam for allegedly breaking into an apartment she was evicted from on Park Avenue South and changing the locks.

Police said she had been evicted by city marshals for never actually paying rent since moving in a year ago.

After she was arrested last Wednesday morning, police said that 48-year-old Christine Evans was also charged with identity theft and forgery because she allegedly signed the apartment lease using personal information that wasn’t her own. Seven months before renting the apartment, Evans had been arrested near Times Square for reportedly running a scam at a West 43rd Street fortunetelling parlor.

Regarding the most recent incident, a broker for the Stay Local real estate company told the district attorney’s office that Evans spoke with the company about renting an apartment inside 220 Park Avenue South in November 2016 and she allegedly presented a Florida State driver’s license for her rental application with her own photo but using the victim’s name.

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Police Watch: Man arrested for stalking, ‘Lewdness’ suspect stabbed

Police arrested a 37-year-old man after the victim, his ex-girlfriend, told police that he called, texted and emailed her from December 12, 2017 through January 22 and allegedly said that he would ruin her life if she did not help him with his financial troubles.
She said that she asked the suspect, Christos Kalatoudis, to stop contacting her but he allegedly continued, and she said that she knew the calls and texts were from him because she recognized his phone number and email and recognized his voice in messages.
The victim also told police that around December 12, Kalatoudis allegedly sent an email in which he had attached private photos that showed her fully undressed on a bed and she said that when she didn’t respond to the email, he forwarded the content to her employer. She told police that she had not consented to having the photos posted online or emailed and she said that Kalatoudis allegedly sent the photos because she didn’t respond and because she wouldn’t help him with his financial troubles.
Kalatoudis was arrested for alleged aggravated harassment inside the 13th Precinct on Tuesday, February 13 and was also charged with stalking, attempted assault and attempted coercion. His lawyer could not be reached for a comment.

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Robbers threaten victims with razor blade on East 22nd Street

Robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Police are on the lookout for two robbers who threatened two victims with a razor blade on East 22nd Street and Park Avenue South on Monday afternoon.

Cops say the pair approached two 19-year-old men, at 4:20 p.m. and pulled out the blade while demanding money. They ended up getting away with a phone and $10 in cash. The victims weren’t hurt.

Police looking for Kips Bay Chase Bank robber

Mar1 Bank robbery suspect

Bank robbery suspect

Police are hunting a bank robber who got away with over $300 from a Kips Bay Chase branch on Friday.

At about 10:20 a.m., the suspect strolled into a 501 Second Avenue between East 28th and 29th Streets and passed a note to a teller demanding cash. The teller, a 48-year-old woman, complied, turning over $305. The suspect, who is described as black, about 60 years old and 5 ft. 8 ins.-5 ft. 10 ins. tall, fled. He was last seen wearing a red skull cap and carrying a black backpack.

Anyone with information in regards to this male 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.



Former Beth Israel doctor charged with sexually assaulting patients

Former Mount Sinai Beth Israel Chief of Palliative Care Division Ricardo Cruciani

By Sabina Mollot

A former high-ranking doctor at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, who recently pleaded guilty to committing numerous sexual assaults of female patients at another hospital he worked at, is now facing charges of assaulting six other patients at Beth Israel.

The allegations include rape, forceful kissing and groping during the time Ricardo Cruciani, now 63, served as Beth Israel’s Chief of the Palliative Care Division. He was employed at the hospital from 2002-2014.

At that time, he was responsible for administering treatment to patients afflicted with chronic and debilitating pain disorders that are hard to find treatment for.

After leaving Beth Israel, Cruciani worked at Capital Health Medical Center in New Jersey and later Pennsylvania’s Drexel University neurology department.

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