Cop cracking down on drunk drivers in 13th Precinct

Police Officer Nicholas Clemente with Executive Officer Ernesto Castro at the 13th Precinct Community Council meeting (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Drunk drivers, beware.

Police Officer Nicholas Clemente of the 13th Precinct has arrested so many behind the wheel boozers recently that on Tuesday, he was recognized for his efforts. Clemente was the recipient of the February Cop of the Month award at a meeting held by the 13th Precinct Community Council.

Executive Officer Ernesto Castro, who led the meeting because Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman was out due to a personal matter, said that Clemente had made a significant number of arrests of intoxicated drivers throughout the precinct last year and so far this year.

“(Clemente) has made it his priority to ensure the safety of our motorists and pedestrians every night,” Castro said. “His job is to identify by observation or by accidents whether someone is intoxicated. In 2018, he made it a priority and he arrested 15 people for that, nine of them being from observation alone, either driving in the wrong direction or swerving or taking red lights. This year so far he’s made two valuable arrests for (driving while intoxicated) and he continues to strive toward that.”

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Police Watch: Man charged with newsstand robbery, Bouncer accused of assault

MAN CHARGED WITH UNION SQUARE SUBWAY NEWSSTAND ROBBERY
Police arrested 27-year-old Nicholas Labasta for an alleged robbery that took place inside the Union Square subway station on Tuesday, February 12 at 4 a.m. The victim told police that he was working behind the counter at the newsstand inside the station when Labasta allegedly reached over the counter into the open cash register. The victim said that he attempted to stop Labasta from taking the cash, and Labasta allegedly punched the victim in the face. Police said that he then grabbed cash in singles and fled the station. The victim later identified Labasta outside and police stopped him in front of 841 Broadway, where they recovered the cash in singles in his pocket. Labasta was also charged with grand larceny and petit larceny.

BOUNCER AT BOUNCE ACCUSED OF ASSAULT
Police arrested 35-year-old Modesto Morales for an alleged assault in front of Bounce nightclub at 55 West 21st Street on Saturday, February 16 at 2:56 a.m. The victim told police that Morales, who is a bouncer at the club, punched him in the mouth unprovoked, causing swelling and bleeding.

MAN ACCUSED OF SNATCHING PHONE
Police arrested 32-year-old Alexandre Teixeira for an alleged theft at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th Street on Friday, February 15 at 4:41 p.m. Police heard the victim shouting, “Police, help, he took my phone!” while running after Teixeira. Police said when they caught up with Teixeira and he was arrested, he had the victim’s phone. Teixeira was charged with grand larceny, criminal mischief and possession of stolen property.

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Guest steals electronics from Peter Cooper Village resident

Theft suspect in Peter Cooper Village

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who stole electronics from a Peter Cooper Village resident he went home with on Friday, February 8.

The victim told police he and the other man, who he met at a bar that evening, went to his apartment at 601 East 20th Street. After his guest left, at around 1:30 a.m., the resident realized various items were missing from the apartment, including an iPhone, driver’s license, two Microsoft Surface Pros, an Apple MacBook and a Playstation.

The suspect was seen on surveillance video. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Police Watch: Man arrested for phone theft, ACS teen nabbed for beatdown

MAN CHARGED WITH PHONE THEFT AFTER BEING CHASED DOWN BY VICTIM
Police arrested 43-year-old Maitreya One for an alleged theft from the Fat Buddha bar at 212 Avenue A between 13th and 14th Streets on Saturday, February 9 at 11:44 p.m. The victim told police that she put her phone on a table in the bar and turned her back to it, and when she turned back around, the phone was missing. She said that she used the Find My iPhone app and it pinged at the McDonald’s at 404 East 14th Street. She said that she pinged her phone again while walking around nearby and heard it coming from an unknown man. She said that she confronted the man and asked for the phone back, which he refused. The victim said that she called 911 and followed the man to East 17th Street and Second Avenue, where he was arrested. When the suspect was taken into custody, the victim’s phone was recovered from his front right jacket pocket. One was arrested at the corner of Second Avenue and East 17th Street on Sunday, February 10 at 12:52 a.m. and was charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property.

ACS TEEN NABBED FOR BEATDOWN OF ANOTHER TEEN
Police arrested a teenager for an alleged assault that took place in front of 130 East 29th Street on November 20, 2018, at 10:30 p.m. The victim told police that the suspect punched him numerous times in the face, causing swelling and bruising to both cheeks and his right eye. Police said that the suspect and the victim know each other because they both live in the Administration for Children’s Services facility at 492 First Avenue. The teen was arrested on Friday, February 8 at 2 a.m. inside the 13th precinct.

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USPS fights back against ‘fishers’ with new mailboxes

Two of the new mailboxes at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street are considered higher security due to a slit for inserting mail rather than a pull-out handle. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Mailbox fishing, a type of theft aimed at stealing checks that can later be altered, has just gotten harder.

This is because the United States Postal Services is currently in the process of replacing 5,000 mail collection boxes throughout the city with higher-security models. Xavier Hernandez, a spokesperson for the USPS, said the project is being done in coordination with law enforcement agencies.

The main difference between the old boxes and new is that there is no longer a pull-down handle, but a narrow slot where letters can be inserted and dropped. Areas throughout the five boroughs that are considered “high needs” because they have been popular targets for theft, have been getting their mailboxes replaced first.

The USPS can usually tell when their collection boxes have been tampered with, because they are scratched up or have glue inside or in some cases, evidence of someone having tried to pry off the fronts. Hernandez declined to share which neighborhoods were considered high-need, explaining that thieves have managed to exploit that information. Tips on suspected theft have come from the NYPD, postal employees and customers who call if they believe they’ve had a check stolen.

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Man charged with package theft in Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police caught a man last week believed to be responsible for an alleged package theft in Stuyvesant Town that took place last January.

Carl Cadell, 29, was allegedly seen inside 445 East 14th Street by StuyTown Public Safety on January 5, 2018 around 3 p.m. Police said that Cadell was on the 12th floor of the building with a package that didn’t belong to him. The package was allegedly addressed to a resident in 449 East 14th Street. According to the district attorney’s office, Cadell could be seen on surveillance video entering that building and removing the package before he went inside 445 East 14th Street.

StuyTown Property Services general manager Rick Hayduk said that video showed Cadell “piggybacking” into both buildings.

According to Hayduk, public safety approached Cadell because he was acting suspiciously inside 445 East 14th Street, and police said that he shoved the officer against the wall before fleeing on foot.

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Burglar steals from apartment on East 18th Street

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a burglar who stole $4,500 in cash and electronics from an apartment on East 18th Street on Wednesday, February 6.

Feb14 burglary suspect b

Burglary suspect

It was around noon when police said the man managed to get in by forcing his way into the apartment’s door.

This is the second time an apartment has been burglarized on this street in recent weeks, although based on surveillance images, this is a different suspect.

On Wednesday, January 23 at approximately 6:30 a.m. in the vicinity of East 18th Street and 2nd Avenue, another man got into an apartment via a fire escape. He started to help himself to items from an entertainment center before two residents walked in on him and he fled, this time through the door.

Anyone with information on either incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Woman’s wallet stolen at St. Francis Xavier Church

Church theft suspect

Cops are looking for a creep who stole a wallet from a 76-year-old woman worshipper at Saint Francis Xavier Church located at 46 West 16th Street.

The woman had left her purse unattended while receiving communion, and later discovered that $580 in unauthorized charges were made on her credit cards at various stores.

The incident occurred on Saturday, December 22, 2018 at about 12:30 p.m., but police only released details this week.

The suspect is described as a black man with a medium complexion, approximately 28 to 35 years with brown eyes and a medium build. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black vest, black sweatpants and a black knit hat.

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Bike-riding thugs knock man down and steal his phone in Flatiron

feb8bikegangrobbery

Some of the robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for 10 or possibly more people who, while on bikes, snatched a man’s cell phone after one of the cyclists ran into him.

It was on January 27 when the victim, a 45-year-old man, was at the corner of East 24th Street and Park Avenue South. The cyclists, who were described as young and may have been teenagers, approached him and one of them spat at the man. Another cyclist then ran into him, knocking the man to the ground. The victim’s iPhone tumbled out of his hand when he fell and when he tried to reach it, realized it was gone. The iPhone was valued a $800. It isn’t clear if the victim was injured.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

Police Watch: Man arrested for robbery, Man charged with stealing hand truck

ACCUSED OF BREAKING WINDOW, MAN THEN ARRESTED FOR PREVIOUS ROBBERY
Police arrested 42-year-old Christopher Keppel for alleged criminal mischief in front of Papaya Dog at 239 First Avenue on Thursday, January 24 at 3:40 p.m. Police said that when Keppel was fighting with an unknown person, he punched the storefront of the business.

After searching the area, an employee of the business spotted Keppel and identified him as the person who had allegedly damaged the window. After Keppel was searched, police found that he was in possession of a bag with a white powder that was inside his boot. Keppel allegedly told police that the bag was his crack.

After he was arrested, Keppel was charged with a robbery that took place in front of 245 First Avenue on January 18 at 5:55 a.m. Police said that Keppel grabbed the victim’s cell phone from his hand and punched him in the face.

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Pair steals wallet from Gramercy laundromat employee

 

jan31 laundromat theft suspect2

Burglary suspect

Cops are looking for a man and a woman who worked together to swipe a wallet from an employee at a laundromat on East 18th Street west of First Avenue.

On Friday, January 18 at about 10 a.m., the pair strolled into an employees-only area of Prestige II Laundry at 351 East 18th Street. After finding a wallet containing cash and a debit card, they fled the shop.

The suspects are described as a black man, 40-45 years old, 6’2″ tall and 220 lbs., and a black woman who’s 30-35 years old, 5’6″ tall and 150 lbs.

jan31 laundromat theft suspect1

Second burglary suspect

Anyone with information in regard 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Teens harass elderly couple, assault man at McDonald’s across from Stuy Town

jan31 mcdonalds assault suspect1

First assault suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for three teenagers believed to be responsible for a brutal beatdown at the McDonald’s at 404 East 14th Street.

According to police, on Saturday, December 29 at 8 p.m., the three teens were harassing an elderly couple at the restaurant, located across the street from Stuyvesant Town. At some point, another customer, a 44-year-old man, tried to stop them and the group then turned on him instead, punching and kicking him in his face and on his body. The attackers then ran out, heading east.

jan31 mcdonalds assault suspect2

Second assault suspect

The victim, who had cuts on his face along with pain and bruises on his face and body; was taken to Beth Israel, and later released.

The first suspect is described as male, black, 14 to 17 years old, 5’7″ tall and 140 lbs. He last seen wearing a pink hooded sweater, black sweatpants and black and white sneakers.

The second suspect is described as female, black, 14 to 17 years old, 5’8″ and 135 lbs., with red or light brown hair. She was last seen wearing gray hooded sweater, a black jacket, red and yellow pants and gray and white sneakers.

jan31 mcdonalds assault suspect3

Third assault suspect

The third suspect is male, black, 14 to 17 years old, 5’5″, 170 lbs., and had eyeglasses. He was last seen wearing a red hooded sweater, a beige jacket and blue jeans.

Anyone with information in regard 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police Watch: Driver allegedly fled scene of accident, Man charged with office burglary

DRIVER ALLEGEDLY FLED SCENE OF ACCIDENT
Police arrested 33-year-old Raechard White for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident. The victim told police that he was driving east on East 23rd Street with a green light when another vehicle driving north on Park Avenue South went through the red light, striking his vehicle. The victim said that the driver of the vehicle that hit him got out of the car and ran into the subway.

Police were unable to find him at the time, but White had allegedly left a wallet in the vehicle with his name on it and he was arrested inside the 13th Precinct on Tuesday, January 15 at 9 a.m. White was also charged with being an unlicensed operator. Police said that the victim suffered injuries to his ribs and was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

MAN CHARGED WITH OFFICE BURGLARY
Police arrested 20-year-old Jose Gutierrez for alleged burglaries inside 55 West 21st Street last summer. Police said that Gutierrez could be seen on video surveillance after hours while the office was closed for business and was allegedly stealing equipment. Police said that Gutierrez was inside the office on July 18, 2018, and another date later in the month.

Gutierrez was charged with burglary inside the 13th Precinct on Monday, January 14.

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Cops on lookout for subway groper at Union Square

Forcible touching suspect

Cops are looking for a man who grabbed a woman’s behind on a southbound 4 train on Friday, January 4. It was around 8:40 a.m. when, as the train was leaving Union Square, the man groped the 37-year-old victim. She managed to get a photo of the suspect on her phone before she got off the train at the Brooklyn Bridge station. The suspect remained on the train.

He is described as being black, 60 to 65 years old and 5’8″ to 5’9″ tall. He was last seen wearing a gray knit cap, a dark, colored hooded sweater and a green jacket.

Anyone with information in regard 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Woman raped, tied up in E. 14th St. apt.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

An East Village woman was raped and tied up inside her East 14th Street apartment over the weekend, police said.

Police said a 20-year-old woman woke up in her apartment between First and Second Avenues on Saturday around 2:30 a.m. to a man standing over her demanding money. According to the New York Post, the man was masked and dressed in black and said, “Shut up and do what I say or I’ll point something at you,” then sexually assaulted her.

The woman said that after he raped her, he demanded to know how much money was in her bank account because he needed $1,000 and when she said that she didn’t have that much, he reportedly bound her with duct tape, the Post said.

Police said that he took her iPhone, laptop and credit card before fleeing her apartment. According to the cops, the woman was able to free herself from the tape and when she couldn’t find her phone, ran into the nearby Papaya Dog at the northwest corner of East 14th Street and First Avenue to call the police around 3 a.m.

She was treated at nearby Beth Israel Hospital and has since stopped cooperating with police in the investigation. No arrests have been made.