Letters to the editor, Aug. 9

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Thinking like a New Yorker

Regarding Town & Village’s question from July 26, Do thoughts of crime affect your daily routine and do you avoid certain streets or going out at certain times?

I don’t think of crime geographically; I can’t name any specific areas I avoid, fearing for my personal safety. As a teacher, I’ve traveled all over Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn and I’ve developed confidence about my bearings and familiarity with the variety of neighborhoods my students come from. I am more conscious of situations and the possibility of interaction and communication.

Twelve years ago, I was badly beaten by a group of gang members only two blocks from Stuy Town; the police later told me I was one victim of a serial attack, most likely part of an initiation routine.

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Reader opinions: Crime in the city

In our last issue, Town & Village asked readers if thoughts of crime in this city affect their daily routines. We also asked, “Do you avoid certain streets or going out at certain times?”

Here are a few responses:

Martha Wolberg says, “I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 40 years. I have never felt safer. When I moved here, it was quite dangerous. Now, I can come home at 2 or 3 in the morning and there is no problem. I live on 14th Street between Second and First Avenues. All the bars in the neighborhood make it very safe – there are always people hanging out late at night.”

Kay Vota says, “It is always wise to be cautious. Once I was being followed in subway facility and I led guy straight to a cop! Once I was followed on the streets of NYC and I ducked into a building with a doorman and told him I was being followed. Once I started out of my garage back door and a giant man was on the steps and I slammed the door, called Public Safety and an officer arrived in a matter of minutes. I do not answer phone calls that I do not recognize the number. A lot of seniors live in our community and we are harassed by spoofing (an official phone number that is faked by some techie device) pretending to be the IRS with threats about being arrested if we don’t call right back. Stuy Town Public Safety when under William McClellan offered a course to tenants, teaching ways of protecting oneself when attacked. The same people taught us that taught Public Safety officers. I thought it was very valuable. Finally, if someone comes to your door claiming to be some kind of inspector, do not open your door. Tell them you will call public safety to escort them in to your home. Also, if you have home aids, be sure to have a closet key to lock valuables so there will be no temptation for anyone to steal what is too easily accessible. Better safe than sorry! And another thing, always trust but verify.”

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Woman steals credit cards at Taproom

 

 

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a woman they said stole credit cards from an employee’s purse at Taproom, a Gramercy bar, and then proceeded to use them to make purchases. Another employee at the bar at 307 Third Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets told Town & Village the theft happened on Saturday during brunch time when the thief sat down near where some employees were sitting.

Police tweeted a picture of the woman on Tuesday, who the employee said appeared to be light-skinned black with braided hair.

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

Question for readers: What can straphangers do when witnessing violence?

Menacing suspect

Photo of suspect

Earlier this week, police released portions of a video showing a man threatening a fellow straphanger with a knife after he tried to intervene when seeing the other man hit his toddler. The suspect, seen on the E train in Greenwich Village, has since been arrested.

Town & Village is asking readers for their thoughts on what sensible actions can be taken by straphangers who witness acts of violence. This can include a parent disciplining a child or an argument between two people if it appears to cross the line into abusive behavior. Calling the police isn’t always an option if passengers don’t have phone service due to where they are in a subway system.

We welcome reader feedback at editor@townvillage.net or as comments here. Names will be withheld upon request.

Thief throws wallet in train tracks when victim tries to get it back

July26 Robbery suspsect

Robbery suspect

Cops are looking for a pickpocket who stole a man’s wallet at the Union Square Subway station and then hit the victim on the head when he tried to get it back.

Police said that on Friday, July 13 at around 10 p.m. the victim was in the station when he realized his wallet was gone. He then asked passersby if they’d seen it, and was told that someone had picked it up from the floor. When he confronted the man, the victim saw the wallet in the other man’s hand. The two men struggled over the wallet and the thief then hit him, before throwing the wallet in the train tracks. The pickpocket then ran off and the victim was able to get his wallet back from the track bed.

The suspect, wanted for robbery, is described as white, in his 30s, 5’6″, 165 lbs. and had glasses. He was last seen wearing a gray shirt, black and white shorts and he had on a black backpack.

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

ACS teen assaults woman in Kips Bay

May31 ACS facility

Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)

By Sabina Mollot

A 13-year-old girl who’s been staying at the Administration for Children’s Services building at First Avenue and 29th Street has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman on that street corner, breaking the victim’s nose.

The victim, a 25-year-old woman, told Town & Village that on Sunday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m., she was walking on First Avenue and East 29th Street when she saw a group of teenagers. Not thinking they looked especially intimidating, she kept walking. However, one of the female members of the group then approached her. She said, “Do you want to fight?” the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, recalled. But before she could answer, the girl punched her in the face, breaking her nose and knocking out her contact lens. The force of the blow knocked the woman down and the teen then began punching her and pulling her hair, while the woman, in a fetal position, tried to block. This went on until a couple pulled up to the scene in a car, which scared the group off.

Later, the victim said she was able to find the suspect with police and learned the girl’s age, which surprised her since the suspect, who was about 5 ft. 4 inches tall, looked about 18.

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Man steals purse from woman, 81, in East Village building

July19 Burglary suspect

Burglary suspect

Police are looking for a man who stole a purse from an 81-year-old woman after convincing her he needed to get into her apartment to fix a leak.

The man, who was Hispanic and casually dressed in a t-shirt and beach hat, knocked on the woman’s door in the vicinity of East 13th Street and Second Avenue on Friday afternoon. After tricking her into letting him inside, he helped himself to her purse and left the building. The victim’s purse contained $100 and her IDs.

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.

 

Man committed lewd act on train in Union Square: Cops

May3 Lewdness

Public lewdness suspect

Police are looking for a man who was masturbating on a northbound E train as it got to Union Square and 14th Street.

The victim, a 27-year-old woman, said the man committed the lewd act after reaching under his coat on the evening of March 9 at around 9 p.m.

The suspect, who the victim got a photo of, is black, about 30 to 40 years of age and has a medium build. He was last seen wearing dark-colored clothing and glasses.

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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Man in MAGA cap pushes victim into train tracks at Union Square

Assault suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man wearing a Make America Great Again cap and matching shirt who pushed a fellow straphanger onto the train tracks after insulting his ethnicity.

The incident took place on Friday at around 8:15 p.m. when the suspect picked a fight with the 24-year-old victim as they rode a northbound 4 train approaching Union Square station. After making “multiple derogatory statements regarding the victim’s ethnicity,” cops said the suspect followed the victim as he left the train at Union Square and punched him on his head multiple times on the platform. He then pushed the victim onto the track bed before fleeing to the Brooklyn bound L train platform.

The victim’s friend and another person helped the victim back up to the platform and he was taken to the hospital for a wound on his head he got from falling onto the tracks.

The suspect is described as being black with a heavy build. Along with his red MAGA shirt and headwear, he had a black jacket on and jewelry around his neck.

The assault is being investigated as a hate crime and according to published reports, the victim was Hispanic.

Last week, a man wearing a MAGA cap was confronted by two men at the same subway station who stole his hat. When the victim tried to get it back, one of the men pulled out a knife and threatened him with it.

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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

Robber pulls away cane from man, helps him back up, then steals his cash

Apr5 Robbery elder suspect

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are hunting a man who violently robbed a 70-year-old man on Park Avenue South on Tuesday by pulling his cane away from him as he walked along the sidewalk. After the victim fell to the ground, the suspect took his wallet. Then, upon seeing that there were people approaching them, the robber helped the victim get back to his feet. However, before fleeing west on East 24th Street, he snatched $15 in cash from the victim’s wallet.

The suspect is described as unshaven and light-skinned and was last seen wearing a black knit cap, a gray hooded sweater with red lining, a black jacket and camouflage shoes.

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

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.

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.

Man mugged at 23rd Street N/R subway stop

Mar15 mugging

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a mugger who told a victim he had a gun before demanding his money at the 23rd Street N/R subway station.

On Wednesday, February 28 at 10 p.m., the suspect approached a 32-year-old man while keeping his hand inside his jacket pocket. After telling him he had a gun, he robbed the victim, getting $10 in cash before fleeing the station. Police didn’t have the exact language of the man’s threat but noted that it was “expletive” laced.

The suspect is described as black, in his 20s, 5’8″ to 5’10” tall and 220 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black knit cap, eyeglasses, a black hooded jacket, black pants 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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.