Homeless man accused of smashing over 40 WiFi kiosks in Manhattan

Juan Rodriguez was arrested in connection with the incidents.

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a week-long LinkNYC kiosk smashing spree in different neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Juan Rodriguez, 41, who’d been staying at the East 30th Street men’s shelter, was picked up by police in front of 230 East 21st Street at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

From April 16-23, a man, who was seen on surveillance video, smashed 42 Wi-Fi hubs with a brick or other blunt objects in Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Flatiron and in midtown.

Rodriguez has been arrested a number of times since 2006, mostly for alleged marijuana possession and criminal mischief, police said.

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Gramercy woman reported missing

Apr18 Arlene Drucker

Arlene Drucker

Police are asking the public’s assistance in finding Arlene Drucker, 69, who was last seen at her home at 125 East 24th Street on Saturday morning.

She is described as being 5’7″ tall, 140 lbs., with a thin build, brown eyes, short blonde-grey hair and missing her teeth. She was last seen wearing a blue sun dress and blue sneakers.

Anyone with information 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Gramercy package ‘thief’ arrested

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a man they believe to be behind multiple package thefts in residential buildings since February.

Jacob Roman, 40, was caught in front of 201 East 15th Street and Third Avenue on Saturday, March 30 at 11:45 a.m. when he was allegedly attempting to break into the building. Police said that a resident of the building recognized Roman from when he was inside the location previously and had been identified as someone who was wanted in connection to several past thefts of packages from the same location.

Roman was allegedly seen on video surveillance using a tool to gain entry into the same building on Friday, February 15 around midnight and helping himself to items left in the building’s mailroom.

Police said that Roman got inside the building using some type of tool on Sunday, February 17 and could be seen on surveillance video going through packages in the mailroom and leaving with items intended for residents.

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Small biz bills called helpful, but not enough

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, members of the City Council introduced a package of bills aimed at helping small businesses. They ranged from creating a registry of vacant retail spaces to having landlords sign a “certificate of no harassment” before getting construction permits to providing training to help small business owners digitally market themselves.

Since then, Town & Village reached out to operators of three local storefront businesses to ask if they thought the bills would help them — and if not, what would.

In response, Carole Husiak, who owns the Ibiza Kidz clothing shop in Stuyvesant Town, said she liked all the bills.

That said, Husiak doesn’t feel the bills address what she considers to have been her biggest problem as a business owner for the past 30 years — real estate taxes.

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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).

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).

Owner of Sal Anthony’s loses battle with cancer

Anthony Macagnone (center) reopened Sal Anthony’s in Gramercy in 2017. (Pictured) Macagnone with wife Cynthia Graham and son Anthony Jr. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Gramercy business owner Anthony Macagnone died on Wednesday, January 23, from esophageal cancer. He was 79.

Macagnone was most well-known throughout the Gramercy neighborhood as the owner of two very different businesses both operating under the name Sal Anthony’s: a restaurant and a fitness studio.

Although Macagnone’s career in the restaurant business started more than 50 years ago, his most constant presence in the neighborhood in the last 20 years has actually been through Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon, which he opened in 1999 after leasing an old beer hall and former restaurant on Third Avenue.

The original restaurant, which Macagnone opened when he bought a spot on Irving Place in 1966 after working at the nearby Pete’s Tavern, was open until about 10 years ago when he was forced to close over a dispute with the landlord about rent, but he was able to reopen the restaurant on Third Avenue and East 19th Street under the same name two years ago.

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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.

 

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 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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Local synagogues packed after Pittsburgh massacre

Nov15 Brotherhood Synagogue

The Brotherhood Synagogue in Gramercy Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

While it happened many miles away from New York City, for Jewish New Yorkers, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting massacre on October 27 hit way too close to home, especially since locally, in the days following, there were reports of anti-Semitic graffiti and other types of vandalism at Jewish houses of worship in Brooklyn.

Many attended a vigil for the victims in Pittsburgh in Union Square shortly after the incident. Others jammed their temples for special Sabbath services that Friday night. Town & Village’s own associate editor, Maria Rocha-Buschel, found herself attending services for the first time in — she admitted — years, and reported that The Brotherhood Synagogue in Gramercy Park was completely packed. Much of the evening’s service was focused on the shootings and Rabbi Daniel Alder read a letter from a congregant who’d grown up near the Tree of Life Synagogue where eleven people were murdered, and knew two of the victims.

East End Temple in Stuyvesant Square Park was also crowded “beyond capacity,” noted a congregant there, Assembly Member Harvey Epstein. “There was a lot of unity in difficult times,” he added.

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Former physician’s assistant who worked in Gramercy pleads guilty to sexually abusing patients

Kenneth Ferranti

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, Kenneth Ferranti, a former physician’s assistant who worked at Hennessey Dermatology in Gramercy, pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of two male patients.

Ferranti, a 40-year-old resident of Jersey City, abused the patients in February and August of 2017. Along with sexual abuse in the third degree, he also pleaded guilty to forcible touching and perjury for lying about the incidents during his testimony.

“As a physician’s assistant, this defendant garnered trust and confidence from the many patients left in his care,” said District Attorney Cy Vance. “But on at least two occasions, when these same patients came to him in need of medical attention, he violated that trust and abused them under the guise of providing medical treatment. That he later perjured himself before a grand jury as he testified about the abuse only exacerbates this terrible crime, and I thank my office’s prosecutors for holding him accountable.”

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Police Watch: Six arrested for helping brothels advertise online, launder money

SIX CHARGED WITH HELPING BROTHELS ADVERTISE ONLINE, LAUNDER MONEY
This past Monday, police arrested six people in connection with a scheme to promote and finance brothels throughout the city, including one on 14th Street, the Daily News reported. The six suspects reportedly built websites for the brothels and are being charged with money laundering.

The websites went by the names “One Hour Girlfriend,” “Kiss Kiss Pop” and “Shake Shake Girls,” and showed photos of prostitutes from the brothels. Police said that Kwong Kyu (Kevin) Kim and Hyun Kyung (Jay Hee) Han, who are married, and Hong Nae (Diane) Yi reportedly issued high-interest loans to brothel owners in Manhattan and set up bank accounts to keep money going into and out of the brothels. Court documents said that Han owned the brothel on 14th Street, as well as one on 39th Street. Additional suspects Beirne (Michael) Lowey, Tien Chih Wang and Zhengyi (Allen) Lu allegedly helped to set up web pages and ads for the brothels.

Police said that Lowey, who allegedly photographed the prostitutes, was seen placing stickers advertising the websites on light posts, parking meters and other surfaces on Third Avenue between East 10th and 31st Streets.

Wang and Lu allegedly used bitcoin to purchase advertising credits on Backpage.com, which was seized by the federal government in April, and the suspects reportedly resold the credits on their own website.

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Purple-haired robber hits Gramercy 7-Eleven

Robbery suspect

Police are looking for a robber with long purple dreadlocks who held up a 7-Eleven on Monday.

At about 8:30 p.m., the suspect entered the store located at 247 Third Avenue between 20th and 21st Streets, and announced a robbery as he gestured to his waistband. A 23-year-old employee then turned over an undetermined amount of cash and the robber fled.

The suspect was last seen wearing a green vest and a red hat.

Town & Village was unable to reach the store by phone for comment.

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 nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.