MEN WANTED FOR RESTAURANT ROBBERY
Cops are hunting three men who they believed robbed Crema, a restaurant at 111 West 17th Street.
On September 12 at 10:30 p.m., police arrived at Crema after being called by a restaurant employee who said three men walked in and snatched a cash register from behind the bar. The victims also said that one of the robber pulled out a machete and demanded money in Spanish. The men then fled west bound on West 17th Street towards Seventh Avenue. The investigation is ongoing and the suspects are described as three Hispanic men in their 20’s wearing masks.
PAIR INDICTED IN RENTAL SCAM
On Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of Matthew Wada, 36, and Jennifer York, 27, for engaging in an apartment rental scam that defrauded more than 20 victims, many of whom were moving to New York City for the first time, out of approximately $60,000 dollars. Following an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD’s sixth and ninth precincts, the indictments charge the defendants with scheme to defraud in the first degree and multiple counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree. Wada is also charged with grand larceny in the third degree.
According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, from late October 2013 to early March 2014, Wada and York gained temporary access to various apartments by renting the apartment through websites including Craigslist and NYHabitat.com for vacation or a short-term stay. The apartments were located throughout Manhattan, including in Midtown, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and the East Village. Once the defendants gained access to an apartment, they would then advertise it for rent on different websites, including Craigslist and Bazarynka.com, the latter a website serving the Polish community in New York.
Victims who responded to the defendants’ rental advertisements were shown an apartment Wada or York had access to for only a short period of time. The victims, who were falsely told that Wada was the apartment’s landlord, signed long-term lease agreements with future start dates and gave the defendants varying amounts of rent and security deposits up front.
Victims lost anywhere from $150 to $4,500, with average losses around $2,200. In many cases, multiple victims signed leases for the same apartment.
CRAIGSLIST ‘SCAMMER’ BUSTED IN STUY TOWN
Police arrested 23-year-old Sarkis Avoyants in front of 447 East 14th Street in Stuyvesant Town last Wednesday at 2 p.m. Avoyants, along with another man, allegedly stole $500 from someone who had contacted him on Craigslist to conduct a move. The two men took the money from the victim and then fled without providing the service that was promised, police said. Police caught Avoyants but the other man got away.
‘GROPER’ NABBED THANKS TO GOOD SAMARITAN
Fifty-year-old Stuart Bennett was arrested for sexual abuse last Thursday at 5:05 p.m. on the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 27th Street. Bennett allegedly approached a woman from behind, put his hands on her hips and forcibly pushed himself into her with his groin and began gyrating into her buttocks. A witness, who flagged down a nearby Port Authority police officer, told police that he saw Bennett forcibly gyrating against the woman.
TEEN MASTURBATES ON L PLATFORM
Police arrested a teenager in the Union Square subway station for public lewdness last Friday at 9:30 a.m. The teen was on the L platform masturbating under the stairs leading to the N/Q/R platform with his right hand inside his right front pants pocket. The teen attends Park West High School at 525 West 50th Street and is in 11th grade. His name is being withheld due to his tender age.
MEN ARRESTED FOR COUNTERFEIT BILLS
Police arrested three men for forgery last Tuesday at 11:35 p.m. on the corner of Second Avenue and East 24th Street. Troy Brooks, 23, and Darryl Riddick, 21, allegedly used counterfeit money to buy beer at a nearby bar. Twenty-year-old Shamar Dunigan was allegedly working with Brooks and Riddick and also attempted to make purchases at the bar with counterfeit money. He was also in possession of additional counterfeit currency, police said.
MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘BOMB THREAT’
Police arrested 32-year-old Justin Davidson inside the 13th precinct for false alarm of a fire last Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. Davidson allegedly dialed 911 operators and made threats to blow up the NYC Transit System by means of telephone. The report did not specify where Davidson made the call from or if he made threats about a specific station.
TWO MEN BUSTED FOR ASSAULT
Police arrested two men involved in a fight last Wednesday. Kenny Smith, 51, was arrested at 3:06 p.m. in front of the BRC at 127 West 25th Street and thirty-eight-year-old David Cameron was arrested in front of 124 West 25th Street at 3:16 p.m. Smith allegedly picked up a 2×4 piece of wood and struck the victim in the back of the head and Cameron allegedly punched the same man in the head, causing physical injury. The incident occurred at the BRC where Smith was apprehended immediately and Cameron was arrested down the block after attempting to flee.
WOMAN ARRESTED IN UMBRELLA ASSAULT
Police arrested 25-year-old Desiree Rodriguez for assault last Saturday at 1:29 a.m. in front of 12 East 22nd Street. The victim told police that he and Rodriguez, his neighbor, had an argument about the volume of the television and the argument escalated into a physical fight. Rodriguez allegedly grabbed an umbrella and repeatedly struck him, causing cuts on both his right and left forearms.
MAN BUSTED FOR SKIPPING CLUB COSTS
Police arrested 22-year-old Saverio Galasso for theft of services in front of The Hurricane Club at 360 Park Avenue South last Saturday at 3:13 a.m. Galasso paid $450 of his bill in cash and attempted to pay the rest on a credit card. When the card was declined, he allegedly attempted to leave without paying the remaining balance, which was $988.
ARRESTED FOR SLEEPING IN CARDBOARD BOX
Police arrested 27-year-old Keshaun Williams in front of 4 East 15th Street last Wednesday at 6:19 a.m. for violation on undisclosed New York State laws. Williams was allegedly sleeping on a public sidewalk inside cardboard boxes about four feet tall and eight feet long.
BUSTED FOR BURGLAR’S TOOLS
Police arrested 36-year-old Fidel Valasquez for possession of burglar’s tools last Saturday at 12:10 p.m. on the corner of East 23rd Street and Madison Avenue. Valasquez was seen casing multiple commercial pharmacies while holding what appeared to be cash. He then entered a pharmacy in the area and allegedly attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill to make purchases. When police searched him, they found that the money was fake and he was also allegedly in possession of burglar’s tools. No information was available on the specific pharmacy that Valasquez entered.
MAN ARRESTED FOR SKIPPING CAB FARE
Police arrested 23-year-old Marcus Sirmans for theft of services at the 13th precinct last Sunday at 3:22 a.m. Sirmans got into a yellow taxi at West 116th and Broadway and gave the driver his home address, 340 East 29th Street. The driver brought him to the location and Sirmans then allegedly told the driver that he had no money because he left his wallet at the party. The driver brought Sirmans back to his original location but nobody answered the door because there wasn’t anyone left at the party. The driver then brought Sirmans to the precinct closest to where he lives and told officers what happened, leading to his arrest for failing to pay his taxi fare of $83.50.
ARREST FOR SELLING CIGS
Police arrested Jorge Rendall, 55, for violating tax law at the corner of First Avenue and East 27th Street last Wednesday at 9:50 a.m. Rendall allegedly sold an untaxed pack of Newport Light cigarettes to someone for $8.
MAN ARRESTED FOR SALE OF ‘HEROIN’
Police arrested 42-year-old Alfredo Fabian for the intent to sell a controlled substance in front of 132 West 15th Street last Tuesday at 1:43 p.m. A plain-clothes officer saw Fabian casing the corner at West 15th Street and Sixth Avenue. Fabian then allegedly approached two other people and sold a quantity of heroin. He was in possession of a large quantity of alleged heroin, police said.