Police Watch: Arrests for spa burglary, Union Square bank robbery

MAN ARRESTED FOR SPA BURGLARY
Police arrested a third suspect in connection with stealing from the Spring Garden Spa at 344 East 16th Street on April 25 at 10:30 p.m. Police arrested 25-year-old Kristian George for alleged burglary in front of 10 Union Square East on Thursday, May 31 at 5:36 p.m. George allegedly entered the spa with previously arrested Shaquasha Goldstein, 20, and Elijah Rosario, 19, and the three suspects allegedly removed cash from the register. Police said that the three suspects got away with $180 in cash. According to the district attorney’s office, George and Rosario could be seen on surveillance video ringing the bell to get inside the business. Rosario was sentenced to five months in prison on May 18.
Goldstein and another suspect, 33-year-old Eric Dineen, have been charged in connection with additional robberies at the spa in April and May.

MAN CHARGED WITH UNION SQUARE BANK ROBBERY
Police arrested 63-year-old Richard Johnson on Wednesday, May 30 at 10 a.m. for an alleged robbery that took place inside the HSBC at 15 Union Square West on May 17 around 11 a.m. Police said that Johnson went to the bank, passed the teller a demand note and reached, as if to make it look like he had a weapon, while demanding cash. He then fled the scene. Police said that Johnson was already in federal custody for a previous incident when an investigation connected him with the alleged robbery in Union Square.

ACCUSED SHOPLIFTER ALLEGEDLY PULLS OUT NEEDLE AT MARSHALLS
Police arrested 34-year-old Leslie Rodriguez inside the 13th precinct on June 3 at 11 a.m. for an alleged robbery that took place inside the Marshalls at 620 Sixth Avenue on Wednesday, May 30 at 7 p.m. Police said that when confronted for alleged shoplifting, Rodriguez displayed a hypodermic needle and said, “You’re not stopping me,” at which point she fled. She allegedly dropped her benefit card at the scene, which was later used to identify her.

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Police Watch: Man wanted for gunpoint robbery, John Doe arrested for menacing

Robbery suspect

MAN WANTED FOR GUNPOINT ROBBERY
Police are looking for a man suspected in a gunpoint robbery that took place in a video store at 725 Sixth Avenue on Sunday, April 22 at 2:50 a.m. Police said that the suspect approached a 50-year-old store employee behind the counter, turned a gun on him and demanded all the cash from the register. The employee gave him $900 and the suspect ran north on Sixth Avenue. No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.
The suspect is described as a black man in his 20s, approximately 5’5” and 145 lbs. He was last seen wearing a dark cap, a dark hooded sweat jacket and light-colored pants.
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) or visit nypdcrimestoppers.com. Tipc can also be texted to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

JOHN DOE ARRESTED FOR MENACING IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested a 41-year-old John Doe man for allegedly menacing someone in front of 39 Union Square West on Thursday, April 26 at 12:23 p.m. Police said that the man punched a victim in his waist. When the suspect fled the scene, officers saw him throwing an ice pick into a garbage can inside Union Square Park. When police attempted to place him under arrest, he allegedly flailed his arms to prevent himself from being handcuffed. Cops referred to him as John Doe because he had no ID.

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Police Watch: Teen arrested for Blue Smoke robbery, Driver charged with alleged vehicular assault

The five robbery suspects seen at Blue Smoke restaurant in Flatiron

FIFTH TEENAGER ARRESTED FOR BLUE SMOKE ROBBERY
Police arrested a fifth teenager for the robbery at Blue Smoke restaurant at 116 East 27th Street on March 18. Police said that the teens approached a host in the restaurant around 7 p.m. and claimed they were raising money for a basketball team before grabbing cash from the victim and fleeing. When the victim chased after them, one of them hit him in the back of the head. The fifth teen was charged with robbery for the incident inside the 13th precinct on April 11 at 10:37 a.m. His name is being withheld due to his young age.

DRIVER CHARGED WITH HITTING PEDESTRIAN ON SECOND AVENUE AND 23RD STREET
Police arrested 23-year-old Kenneth Rowe for alleged vehicular assault at the corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street on April 13. The victim told police that he was crossing East 23rd Street near Second Avenue at around 3:30 p.m. and was in the crosswalk when Rowe allegedly started turning. The victim told police that Rowe saw him and spoke with him, then allegedly revved his engine and struck him, causing an injury, but was arrested a block away from the incident.

MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING OFFICER AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 39-year-old Jamar Moore for alleged assault of a peace officer inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on April 10 at 1 a.m. Officers were restraining Moore inside the hospital when he allegedly head-butted the officer intentionally, causing minor bruising and swelling to the area above his eye. Police said that Moore has previously been arrested for assaulting an officer, as well as for petit larceny and transit crimes.

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Police Watch: Teen arrested for Blue Smoke robbery, Man charged in 7-Eleven robbery

FOURTH TEEN ARRESTED FOR BLUE SMOKE ROBBERY
Police arrested a 16-year-old in connection with a robbery inside Blue Smoke at 116 East 27th Street on March 18. Police said that a host at the restaurant was approached around 7 p.m. by five teenagers who claimed they were raising money for a basketball team before grabbing cash from the victim and fleeing the restaurant. When the victim chased after the teens, one of them hit him on the back of the head.
Four teens have been arrested in connection with the incident. The teen was charged with robbery inside the 13th precinct for the robbery last Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. and his name is being withheld due to his young age.

MAN CHARGED WITH 7-ELEVEN ROBBERY
Police arrested 53-year-old Chris Sanachez for an alleged robbery that took place in the 7-Eleven at 239 East 14th Street on March 7 around 10 p.m. Police said that a customer in the store left his property on the counter and Sanachez grabbed it, then fled the location. The victim, a man in his 50s, reportedly chased after Sanachez and when he caught up with him, the suspect allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing pain and swelling. Sanachez was arrested inside the 13th precinct last Tuesday at 7 p.m.

WOMAN ACCUSED OF PUSHING MAN INTO TRACKS AT UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 57-year-old Marjorie Chambers for alleged reckless endangerment at East 14th Street and Union Square West inside the Union Square subway station last Friday at 12:17 a.m. Police said that Chambers recklessly pushed the victim into the roadbed of the train, creating a substantial risk of injury, although no train was approaching at the time of the incident. The victim did not have any visible injuries.

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‘Scammer’ psychic charged with using stolen ID for apt.

Christine Evans was evicted from the building after owing over $49,000 in back rent. (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a woman once charged with a “curse removal” scam for allegedly breaking into an apartment she was evicted from on Park Avenue South and changing the locks.

Police said she had been evicted by city marshals for never actually paying rent since moving in a year ago.

After she was arrested last Wednesday morning, police said that 48-year-old Christine Evans was also charged with identity theft and forgery because she allegedly signed the apartment lease using personal information that wasn’t her own. Seven months before renting the apartment, Evans had been arrested near Times Square for reportedly running a scam at a West 43rd Street fortunetelling parlor.

Regarding the most recent incident, a broker for the Stay Local real estate company told the district attorney’s office that Evans spoke with the company about renting an apartment inside 220 Park Avenue South in November 2016 and she allegedly presented a Florida State driver’s license for her rental application with her own photo but using the victim’s name.

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This pair has been stealing wallets from women at bars since October

Feb23 wallet theft woman.jpg

Female suspect

Police are looking for a man and woman who’ve been working together to steal women’s wallets at bars in Union Square, Kips Bay, Greenwich Village and the East Village. In numerous cases, the thieves have then withdrawn money from victims’ bank accounts at banks in the Bronx or made fraudulent purchases at stores.

The strings of thefts started in October, and according to police, the pattern is as follows:

On Friday, October 14 at 10:30 p.m., one or both suspects approached a 27 year-old female victim at Fiddle Sticks at 56 Greenwich Avenue near Seventh Avenue and swiped her wallet. Later, $800 from her account was withdrawn at a Chase Bank at 90 East 170 Street in the Bronx.

On Friday, October 21 between 6 and 10 p.m., one of the suspects stole a wallet from a 27-year-old woman inside V-Bar at 132 First Avenue and St. Marks Place. One or both of the thieves then later withdrew $1,200 in cash from her account inside Wells Fargo Bank, located at 3709 Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx. They also charged $357 to the victim’s credit cards.

On Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m., a 35-year-old woman at Banc Café, located at 431 Third Avenue near East 30th Street had her wallet stolen from her purse, which had been hanging on a chair. The wallet contained $140 in cash and three credit cards. Police believe the male suspect later charged $136 to one of the victim’s credit cards at a Starbucks.

feb23-wallet-theft-man

Male suspect

On Wednesday, December 7 at 10:40 p.m., one or both suspects struck again at Republic Bar at 37 Union Square and East 17th Street, taking a wallet from a bag that had been on the floor. The victim later discovered that $1,100 was stolen from her bank account.

On Monday, December 12 at 7 p.m., a 28-year-old woman at Peter McManus Cafe at 152 7th Avenue at West 19th Street had her wallet stolen. The wallet only contained $14 in cash and a credit card, which was later charged for $520 inside a Duane Reade at 161 East 23rd Street.

On Monday, December 19 between 7:45 hours and 10:21 hours, a woman’s wallet went missing at Brazen Fox, located at 106 Third Avenue at East 13th Street. The wallet contained four credit cards and one debit card, one of which was used at a Duane Reade at 4 West 4 Street for $336.49 in goods.

On Friday, December 23 at approximately 7:15 p.m., one or both suspects stole a wallet from a woman’s pocketbook at Suite 36, located at 16 West 16th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The wallet contained $80 and two of the victim’s credit cards were later used to make multiple purchases.

On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24 at approximately 9:15 p.m., a 33-year-old woman was notified that approximately $5,000 was charged to her credit cards by one or both of the aforementioned individuals.

The suspects are described as a white woman with long, blonde hair and a man.

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

Police Watch: Woman arrested for mugging senior, Man wanted for Herald Square groping

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR MUGGING ELDERLY WOMAN
Police arrested 49-year-old Lillian Maduro on Monday for an attempted robbery that took place on Tuesday, September 27 at noon near Fifth Avenue and West 12th Street. Police said that Maduro approached a 90-year-old woman and tried to snatch her duffle bag from the front of her utility cart. When the victim tried to prevent Maduro from taking the bag, the suspect allegedly knocked her to the ground and continued to pull at the bag. Police said that the victim managed to fight Maduro off and retained possession of her bag while Maduro allegedly fled east on East 12th Street. The victim was treated at Mount Sinai Beth Israel for cuts to her right arm and middle finger.

Groping suspect

Groping suspect

MAN WANTED FOR GROPING IN HERALD SQUARE
Police are looking for a man in connection with a groping incident near Herald Square in October. A 31-year-old woman reported that an unidentified man grabbed her buttocks while on the downtown BDFM platform on Tuesday, October 4 around 11 a.m. The man fled the station to the street. The victim described him as 25-35 years old, 5’10”, 180 lbs. with a slim build and black hair. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.
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.

Bank robbery suspect

Bank robbery suspect

WOMAN WANTED FOR PARK AVE. BANK ROBBERY
Police are looking for a woman who committed a bank robbery in the Midtown South Precinct earlier this month. The suspect strolled into the Chase Bank at 2 Park Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Streets last Saturday around 3 p.m., approached a bank teller and passed a note demanding money. The teller complied and the suspect fled the bank with an undetermined amount of cash. The suspect has a light complexion, in her late 30s, 5’4” and 150 lbs. and was last seen wearing a black pea coat, black pants, white sneakers, black sunglasses and a black and white Yankee baseball cap. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS 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 texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Police Watch: sex abuser sentenced, East 24th Street ‘burglar’ busted

SERIAL SEXUAL ABUSER SENTENCED TO 16 YEARS IN STATE PRISON
Last Friday, Jonquel Jones, 27, was sentenced to 16 years in state prison and 25 years of post-release supervision for sexually assaulting a stranger and a young girl in two separate incidents in 2013. On May 28, Jones pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to rape and sexual abuse, both in the first degree.
According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, at around 11 p.m. on September 5, 2013, Jones approached a tourist on the L train in Manhattan. The 22-year-old woman had become separated from her friend and was asking other passengers for directions to Brooklyn, where she was staying at the friend’s apartment. Jones told the victim that he would help her hail a cab to Brooklyn if they got off the next stop together. Once outside, he led her to an isolated area on East 10th Street near the FDR. There, he threatened her with a knife and raped her. Following the attack, the victim returned to Brooklyn and told her friend, who took her to the hospital A DNA profile from the woman’s rape kit was uploaded to the New York State DNA Databank, where it matched the defendant’s DNA profile from a previous felony conviction.
A month later on October 5, Jones invited a 12-year-old girl who lived in the same East Village building as he and his then-girlfriend to come over to their apartment. He forced her to undress and change into different clothes while he watched. He then forcibly kissed her. The girl reported the incident to her mother, who contacted police.

GRAMERCY PARK ‘TRESPASSER’ ARRESTED
Police arrested 22-year-old James Ghent for criminal trespass inside 32 Gramercy Park South last Saturday at 1:15 a.m. Ghent allegedly entered the victim’s apartment without permission and remained there unlawfully, although nothing was stolen. Police did not have any information about how Ghent entered the apartment.

MAN ARRESTED FOR PREVIOUS ‘BURGLARY’
Police arrested 28-year-old Sharif McMillan for burglary and possession of stolen property last Monday at 1:30 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct. McMillan allegedly stole a 37-inch flat screen TV, an HP laptop and an iPod from an apartment on East 24th Street at an earlier date. Police said that his fingerprints were recovered from the victim’s apartment, that he doesn’t know the victim and he had no business being inside the apartment.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘THEFTS’ FROM PRINT SHOP
Fifty-year-old Regulo Rodriguez was arrested for grand larceny inside Duggal Visual Solutions at 29 West 23rd Street last Monday at 5:22 p.m. Rodriguez’s boss told police that he had been stealing printing materials and resources for his own personal use. Rodriguez allegedly printed a total of four pieces at the store, totaling $1,760. Police said that the suspect also asked a witness, who also works for the company in the packing department, to pack those four items into boxes to ship the pieces out and the witness refused. The employee then told the CEO of the company, who called police to the scene.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘STOLEN’ IPAD
Police arrested 54-year-old Phillip Mellor for grand larceny and possession of stolen property at the corner of East 14th Street and Union Square East last Tuesday at 12:49 p.m. The victim told police that he had left his bag on the grass inside the park and when he went to retrieve it, he noticed that the bag, which contained his iPad, was missing. The victim said that he saw Mellor on a park bench with the victim’s bag in his possession. When he approached Mellor, he allegedly told the victim, “It’s mine because I found it.”

‘STREET WALKERS’ BUSTED ON EAST 30TH
Police arrested 22-year-old Adriana Mondragon-Cazares and 29-year-old Yutlerlay Vivas for prostitution in front of 138 East 30th Street last Tuesday at 7 p.m. Mondragon-Cazares and Vivas allegedly agreed to have sex with undercover officers in exchange for $200.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED IHOP ‘DINE-AND-DITCH’
Police arrested 43-year-old Christopher Brennan inside the IHOP at 235 East 14th Street for theft of services last Wednesday at 9:43 a.m. A server at the restaurant told police that Brennan went into the restaurant and ordered food and when he handed the waiter a credit card to pay for the meal, the card was declined. Brennan allegedly had no other way to pay for the food and when police searched him, they found that he was allegedly in possession of a stolen credit card, which they said he had attempted to use to pay for the meal.

WOULD-BE ‘BURGLAR’ ARRESTED ON EAST 18TH STREET
Police arrested Misael Gonzalez, 41, in front of 10 East 18th Street for possession of burglar’s tools last Tuesday at 2:20 p.m. Gonzalez was allegedly casing a commercial truck at the northeast corner of East 18th Street and Fifth Avenue. Police said he then unlatched the back roll-down gate, looked around the cargo area inside the truck, closed the gate and then attempted to flee east on East 18th Street. He was allegedly in possession of one great neck ratchet, a (regular) ratchet, bolt cutters, a vice grip, a screwdriver and a pair of work gloves.

MAN BUSTED FOR THIRD AVENUE ‘ROBBERY’
Police arrested 46-year-old Alexander Ivanenko for robbery in front of 388 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 10:45 p.m. Ivanenko allegedly snatched cash from the victim using physical force and after searching the area, he was identified and the money was recovered.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘TAMPERING’ WITH STORE COMPUTER FOR CASH
Police arrested 36-year-old Dennis Finn for computer tampering and trespassing inside 115 Fifth Avenue at 19th Street last Thursday at 12:25 p.m. While working for the company, Finn allegedly used a store computer to make unauthorized returns for cash without the authority to do so. Police said that there were 17 fraudulent transactions on 12 dates for a total of $2,252.31. The address is home to Victoria’s Secret as well as a Madewell clothing shop.

MAN ARRESTED AT POST OFFICE FOR ‘FRAUD’
Keith Ruffin, 51, was arrested for forgery inside the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at 335 East 14th Street last Thursday at 2:06 p.m. Police said that Ruffin entered the post office and allegedly passed a clerk a fraudulent money order.

ACS CLIENT ARRESTED FOR HARASSMENT OF CASEWORKER
Twenty-year-old Caleb Beneche was arrested for aggravated harassment at the 13th Precinct last Thursday. The victim is a case planner for Administration of Children’s Services and told police that Beneche is her client. Beneche has allegedly been calling her even after she told him to stop, and police said that he has been calling and texting her personal cell phone. Beneche allegedly said that he would show up at her office and “make them all sorry” and that he would “show them.” The victim told police that Beneche has violent tendencies and she fears for her safety.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘MISCHIEF’ AT STEAKHOUSE ON FIFTH
Nineteen-year-old Mateo Palacio was arrested for criminal mischief inside Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse at 255 Fifth Avenue last Thursday at 6:27 p.m. Police said that Palacio intentionally damaged property at the location by throwing plates to the ground and allegedly damaged one of the victim’s cars by using his necklace to scratch the driver’s side door.

‘MENACE’ ARRESTED ON THIRD AVENUE
Police arrested 27-year-old Angelo Miller for menacing in front of the Basics Plus store at 194 Third Avenue last Friday. Police said that Miller got into a fight with someone over money at around 5:20 p.m. The victim told police that Miller claimed the victim owed him $10 and then allegedly said, “If you don’t get up and start asking for money I’m going to kick you or cut you in the throat.” Police said he also threw a closed hypodermic needle at the victim, though it didn’t cause any injury.

‘UNLICENSED’ TOY SALESMAN BUSTED ON EAST 23RD
Police arrested 58-year-old Charles Staton for an unclassified misdemeanor in front of 155 East 23rd Street last Tuesday at 5:40 p.m. Police said that Staton was trying to sell three toys without a valid Department of Consumer Affairs license.

Three people have attempted to pay with fake hundreds at City Wings Café

Oct2 City WingsBy Sabina Mollot

City Wings Café, a new restaurant across from Peter Cooper Village, has a message for customers who’ve been attempting to pay for their food with counterfeit bills:

The fake buck stops here.

Will Hsu, the manager at City Wings, said that at least three different people (two men and one woman) have come in for the past three Sunday afternoons trying to pass off fake Benjamins as the real deal when purchasing small items like sodas. The phony customers have come in at especially busy times but still got caught since Hsu has to personally approve purchases made with large bills.

What’s caught his attention is that these bills look completely legit, passing the ink pen test. However, they flunk the smell test when the security line, a strip down the middle of new bills that’s supposed to be strong, has ripped easily each time.

When Hsu confronted the fraudsters, “they play dumb. ‘Oh, I’ll be back with another bill.’ They’re not coming back.”

And since the M.O. has remained completely the same, he believes the incidents are connected with a group of people involved. Hsu doesn’t remember much about how the suspects look, other than they are in their late 20s or early 30s, black and “very clean, legit, regular people. They order something small, like two sodas, something under five dollars.”

On Tuesday, Hsu put up a sign on City Wings’ door, warning would-be fraudsters that the next time a bill is suspected of being fake, police will be called. He also said it’s a heads-up for the other restaurants in the neighborhood.

Yves Jadot, one of the owners of the restaurants Petite Abeille and Vamos, which are across the street from City Wings on First Avenue, said he was not aware of anyone coming in recently attempting to pay with fake hundreds. Rather, it’s simply a problem his restaurants deal with from time to time. More often people will attempt to pay with fake twenties since it’s known employees check the hundreds.

“When someone buys a coffee with a hundred it’s a red flag,” said Jadot.

Beth Israel sued over Medicaid payments

Beth Israel's First Avenue building (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Beth Israel’s First Avenue building (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
On Friday, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he was filing a lawsuit against Beth Israel and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospitals as well as Continuum Health Partners, accusing all three of accepting Medicaid payments they were not entitled to. Continuum is the company that owned both hospitals prior to a recent merger with Mt. Sinai.
The lawsuit accuses the hospitals and Continuum of failing to return money to Medicaid they knew was only received due to a computer error in 2009 and 2010. According to the suit, the hospitals submitted improper claims to Medicaid due to the error until the New York State comptroller notified Continuum in 2010 that there were problems with those claims.
The complaint also said that in February of 2011, Continuum found over 900 potentially improper claims to Medicaid after conducting an internal investigation. The total of those claims was over one million dollars. But according to the A.G., the hospitals’ parent company then failed to repay it all within 60 days, instead only repaying “small batches of affected claims” over the next two years. The rest were finally paid by March, 2013, but, the A.G. said, repayments for over 300 of those claims were only made after federal involvement.
This was in June, 2012, when the United States Attorneys’ Office for the Southern District of New York issued a Civil Investigative Demand to Continuum. The complaint against Continuum, Beth Israel and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt was filed under the New York False Claims Act and other statutes in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
A spokesperson for Mt. Sinai, Gregory Williams, said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation. However, Williams added, “We intend to argue our case vigorously in court.”