Letters to the editor, Apr. 4

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Losing the battle on bikes (cars, too)

To the editor:

T&V has recently featured articles on residents complaining about cyclists’ behavior and the NYPD’s 13th Precinct enforcement activities towards cyclists. None of these articles point out that the real danger to pedestrians and cyclists are automobiles.

Motor vehicle crashes killed 200 people in NYC in 2018 including 114 pedestrians and 10 cyclists and left 60,000 injured. Between July 2012 and January 2019, 887 pedestrians were killed by automobiles. Generally, when the DOT installs protected bike lanes or other infrastructure to make cycling safer and easier, pedestrian safety also increases.

All too frequently whenever there is a serious crash involving a cyclist being hit a motor vehicle, they initiate ticketing activity against cyclists often at intersections and bike lanes in which little dangerous behavior is exhibited by cyclists rather drivers who block and drive in bike lanes, drivers who cut off cyclists at intersections or drivers that block the box causing cyclists to go out into traffic.

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Man tries to rob Stuy Town Citibank

Mar28 Citibank robbery

Police officer in front of the bank at 262 First Avenue (Photo by Sean O’Ceallaigh)

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who tried to rob the Citibank in Stuyvesant Town on Saturday.

Police say the man strolled into the bank at 262 First Avenue at 10 a.m. and, after approaching the teller, opened an encyclopedia he was holding to a page with a handwritten note demanding cash.

However, the teller did not comply and the man ran off.

The suspect is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, 6’1″ tall and 180 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, a grey hoodie, black hat, grey gloves, and black sweatpants with red stripes.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or log onto nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are strictly confidential.

Update: Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town, said StuyTown Property Services has provided video to the NYPD and will continue to provide assistance to police. Additionally, the Public Safety department has beefed up patrols along First Avenue with officer patrols as well as cameras.

 

Man steals Chanel purse from woman at Gramercy restaurant

Mar14 Chanel vanity case

Chanel vanity case

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who swiped a $4,600 Chanel purse from a woman who was eating dinner at Gramercy restaurant Farmer & The Fish.

The victim, a 39-year-old woman, was at the restaurant at 245 Park Avenue South at East 20th Street on Friday, March 8 at about 7:30 p.m. when she got up to go to the bathroom. She told police she left her purse, a Chanel vanity case, on her chair, and when she came back it was gone.

Mar14 chanel purse theft

Theft suspect

The vanity case style of bag ranges in price from $3,600-$8,900 on Chanel’s website.

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

Shoplifter threatens employee at Flatiron Coach store

Mar14 Coach robbery

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who shoved an employee at the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue after he was caught trying to shoplift.

It was on Thursday, March 7 at 6:10 p.m., when the man strolled into the store at East 16th Street and picked up a $295 bag and an $1,100 jacket. When he tried to leave without paying, an employee confronted him. The man then shoved him out of his way and said, “Do you want to get punched or do you want to get stabbed?” The thief then fled out a rear door with the luxury label items.

The suspect is described as black, 25, 5 ft. 11 ins. and 160 lbs. He was wearing a black coat and hat and white sneakers. Because of the alleged threat, he is being sought for robbery, rather than theft.

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

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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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).

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.

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.

 

ST/PCV management warns recent crimes due to ‘piggybacking’

jan17 pcv burglary suspect

Peter Cooper Village burglary suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town management sent a newsletter around to residents earlier this week warning about an increase in building break-ins throughout the complex and warning against allowing non-residents to “piggy-back” inside.

StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk told Town & Village that none of the incidents mentioned in the email were new and had all been reported in the last six months. The incidents included the assault of a woman who had been hired by residents and was attacked after security buzzed her into the Stuyvesant Town building and a man followed her inside, in addition to a teenager who was mugged in a Peter Cooper Village vestibule last fall.

One incident that Town & Village did not learn of at the time was an apartment break-in that occurred within the last few months where a man followed a resident into the building and started checking for open doors. Finding one, he began taking things from an apartment and was leaving as a teenage resident was returning. The resident wasn’t harmed and the suspect hasn’t been arrested.

This incident wasn’t publicized at the time because the resident requested that it not be made public, although Hayduk noted that it was reported to the NYPD.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman also noted at the 13th Precinct community council’s most recent meeting on Tuesday evening that package thefts have been up in the neighborhood, with two suspects being arrested for a string of six incidents in Stuyvesant Town on Christmas after they managed to get into multiple buildings. Hayduk noted in the email that package thefts have increased on the property and often occur when non-residents manage to piggy-back into the buildings.
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Cabbie punched and robbed in Gramercy

jan17 taxi robbery suspect1

First robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for two men who stiffed a cabbie, stole his phone and punched him in the face on a street in Gramercy.

Cops said that on Wednesday, January 9 at 7:10 p.m., the 31-year-old driver was dropping off the men at Park Avenue South and East 22nd Street, after they’d hailed the cab at 96th Street and Broadway. However, the passengers didn’t pay the fare before getting out and when the driver asked for the money, one of them reached into his window and stole his cell phone. When the driver got out of his car to get it back, one of the two men punched him before they both fled.

jan17 taxi robbery suspect2

Second robbery suspect

The victim refused medical attention at the scene.

The two suspects are described as being black and about 18-20.

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). All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Man smashes message board at Kips Bay synagogue

Congregation Adareth El at 133 East 29th Street

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a man who smashed the glass of a Kips Bay synagogue’s message board in the wee hours of the morning.

The incident occurred on Saturday, November 10, but the information was only released by the NYPD on Tuesday night.

Police said that at around 3 a.m., the man broke the board at Congregation Adareth El, located at 133 East 29th Street and Lexington Avenue, with his elbow, then proceeded to keep walking down the street, heading east.

Vandalism suspect

The suspect is described as a light-skinned man with a beard; last seen wearing a dark colored hooded sweater, a dark colored jacket, dark colored pants and light colored sneakers.

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.

Man found dead next to East River at 20th Street

Stuyvesant Cove beach William Farrell

Stuyvesant Cove (Photo by William Farrell)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, December 10, a man was found dead at the shoreline of the East River and 20th Street.

Police found the man, who hasn’t been identified and was in his 40s, at around 7 a.m. after responding to a call about an unconscious person. He’d appeared to have been in the water and was taken to Bellevue Hospital, but he couldn’t be saved.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is ongoing. A spokesperson for the medical examiner didn’t have further information about the individual.

Police are asking that anyone who might have information about the man or the circumstances surrounding his death to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Man robbed for Balenciaga shoes at Gramercy hotel

Dec6 Shoe robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

A man was robbed for a pricey pair of kicks at the Freehand Hotel in Gramercy last Saturday.

Police said the 26-year-old victim was in a second floor public bathroom at the hotel at about 4 p.m. when two men approached him and demanded his Balenciaga shoes.

After being threatened, the victim turned the pair, worth $300, over to one of the robbers, who is described as being white, in his 30s, 5 ft. 11 ins. and about 180 lbs.

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Cops on lookout for L train masturbator

Dec13 public lewdness

Public lewdness suspect

Police are looking for a man who was seen masturbating on an L train at Union Square on Monday, December 3.

The victim, a 29-year-old woman, said that it occurred at around 12:45 p.m. as the man stood close to where she was. The victim snapped a photo of the suspect before she left the train at the next station.

The suspect is described as white and 25-35 years-old, and was last seen wearing all dark clothing.

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.

 

Teen mugged in Peter Cooper Village building

Dec6 Robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

By  Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for two muggers who held a resident of Peter Cooper Village up at gunpoint on Tuesday night.

Police said the victim, who is 16 years old, was walking home at about 11:10 p.m. when he was confronted by the pair in the vestibule of 510 East 23rd Street.

One of the robbers pulled out what appeared to be a real gun while demanding his property. The victim then turned over $90 in cash and his iPhone and the muggers fled towards the FDR Drive.

The suspects were described as male and black, one wearing a blue hoodie and black sweatpants and the other wearing grey shoes gray sweatpants and a black coat.

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