Neighbors rip plan for E. 31st St. shelter

Kips Bay resident Maria Verel expressed concern about crime in the neighborhood, saying there are already problems with loitering and public urination. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Residents of Kips Bay and Murray Hill expressed concern over a new shelter opening on East 31st Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison, especially since the Department of Homeless Services said at a recent meeting on the topic that the commercial hotels being used as shelters in the surrounding neighborhood won’t be closed until 2021.

Many at the meeting were also furious at what they felt was the community being steamrolled because the meeting served as an announcement about a finalized plan rather than a forum that would influence the plan’s outcome. The DHS has already said that the shelter is expected to open at the beginning of January.

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Police Watch: ‘Reckless’ driver arrested, Men wanted for Midtown bank robberies

AFTER COPS ATTEMPT TO MAKE PROSTITUTION ARREST, DRIVER TRIES TO FLEE POLICE
Police arrested a man after he tried to flee the scene of an attempted arrest for prostitution.
Police said that Yu Yuesheng, 53, was driving with a woman who left the vehicle and engaged in conversation with an undercover officer. According to the DA’s office, she offered and agreed to perform oral sex in exchange for $250. When police attempted to arrest the woman for prostitution, Yuesheng allegedly fled while ignoring police vehicles that were following him.
He was nabbed last Thursday at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 20th Street at 3:37 a.m.
Police said that Yuesheng drove recklessly by failing to obey numerous steady red lights, endangering the safety of himself and others. At the time of his arrest, he allegedly flailed his arms to avoid being handcuffed. The DA’s office said that Yuesheng had about $700 in cash in his vehicle and the woman who was arrested reportedly referred to Yuesheng as her “friend.” Yuesheng was also charged with promoting prostitution, reckless driving and resisting arrest. No further information was available about the woman Yuesheng was with who was reportedly arrested for prostitution.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR SEXTORTION
Police arrested a teenager for promoting sexual performance by a child inside Simon Baruch Middle School at 330 East 21st Street last Thursday at 1:20 p.m. Police said that the teen sent multiple female teenagers photos of his penis through Snapchat and coerced multiple girls into sending photos back in fear that he would expose them. He would additionally FaceTime with girls while he was masturbating. He also intimidated a girl into stroking his penis on a park bench during a lunch break from school.
The teen was also charged with sexual abuse, coercion and performance of an obscenity. His name is being withheld due to his age.

Bank robbery suspect

Bank robbery suspect

CHASE BANK ROBBER WANTED
Police are looking for a man who robbed a Chase Bank in Kips Bay earlier this month. Police said that the suspect strolled into the bank at 2 Park Avenue between East 32nd and 33rd Street and demanded cash from the teller. The teller complied and the suspect fled. The unknown man is white, in his late 40s to mid-50s and is 5’7” with a slim build. He had grey stubble and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood worn tightly around his face, dark-rimmed eyeglasses, dark pants and a 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. All calls are strictly confidential.

Santander Bank robbery suspect

Santander Bank robbery suspect

BANK ROBBER HITS TWO SANTANDER BANKS IN MIDTOWN
Police are looking for a man in connection with two Manhattan bank robberies. The first incident took place at the Santander Bank at Lexington Avenue between East 34th and 35th Streets, when the suspect approached a teller and demanded money on Tuesday, March 8 at 3 p.m. Police said that the teller complied and the suspect fled with an undetermined amount of money.
The second incident occurred inside another Santander location, this one at 711 Third Avenue between East 44th and 45th Streets. Police said that on Thursday, May 12 at 5:30 p.m., the man approached a teller and demanded money. This teller also complied and the man fled with an undetermined amount of cash.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are strictly confidential.

TEEN BUSTED FOR PHONE THEFT
Police arrested a teenager for snatching a phone out of a straphanger’s hand as he sat waiting for the 1 train at the 23rd Street station last Monday.
The victim said after the suspect grabbed his phone, he ran out of the subway station. The victim then chased the teen down West 22nd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues and got his phone back, at which point he hit the teen. Neither the suspect or the victim had any visible injuries and both refused medical assistance. Police said that when the suspect was placed under arrest, he resisted by locking his arms and legs. The teen was charged with grand larceny, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property and his name is being withheld due to his age.

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Larceny up this month, mainly bag, phone thefts

Captain Brendan TImoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Captain Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Captain Brendan Timoney, who hosted his first community council meeting as the new commanding officer of the 13th Precinct on Tuesday, told residents that the neighborhood is still having some of the same old problems with grand larceny.

That crime is up by about 6.7 percent in the last month and Timoney noted that the precinct is specifically tracking a pattern in which a black man on a bicycle seems to be targeting women distracted by their smart phones. So far, 13 women have been victims of the thief, who rides on the sidewalk behind them and grabs their phone while they’re not paying attention. Four of them had their purses stolen but Timoney said that the rest had their phones snatched right out of their hands and he added that with some of the incidents, there is video surveillance available that shows the women’s inattention to who and what is around them.

“Know your surroundings,” advised Timoney, who was transferred to the 13th Precinct seven weeks ago. “Many of them had their heads buried in the phone and didn’t even see the guy coming.”

While the phone and purse snatchings contributed to the increases, Timoney said that theft of unattended items also continues to be a problem for the precinct, where bar and restaurant goers are leaving their bags and phones behind while they go to get a drink.

“Get the word out to your friends to keep your property in your sights at all times,” he advised.

In addition to grand larceny, Timoney said that crime is currently experiencing a spike in the 13th Precinct and was up slightly overall in the last month.

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