$1,000 reward offered for kitten stolen from Petco

By Sabina Mollot

Cat rescue organization KittyKind is hoping to find a kitten that was stolen on Friday at around 2:25 p.m. from the Union Square Petco.

Though no one saw him in the act, a man breezed into the store on East 17th Street while the cats and kittens up for adoption were in their cages. Volunteers are only there in the mornings, evenings and weekends, so none were present when the man came in mid-afternoon, walked over to the cages and broke the lock of a lower cage. He then took a 12-week-old striped kitten named Sage from inside, leaving its sister Rosemary behind, and walked out the door.

According to Valerie Vlasaty, a KittyKind volunteer later briefed on the situation, a customer happened to see the man leave and mentioned he’d walked out with a kitten to an employee. The employee then went outside to try and stop the man, but it was too late; he’d already disappeared into the Union Square crowd.

“We’re devastated, heartbroken,” said Vlasaty.

Continue reading

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).

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.

 

Man sentenced to five months for bodega robbery, lawsuit alleges sex abuse at spa

MAN SENTENCED TO FIVE MONTHS FOR 14TH STREET BODEGA ROBBERY

The Manhattan District Attorney has announced the quick sentencing of 36-year-old Eutano Bernard to five months in jail for a robbery inside the bodega at 353 East 14th Street on Wednesday, November 14 at 6:53 a.m. Bernard pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree and was sentenced on Monday. He had entered the store, Community Candy, west of First Avenue, on Wednesday morning and told the cashier, “Give me the money,” before he tried to get behind the counter. He then attacked the store employee, causing cuts to the victim’s head and mouth.

MAN FILES SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT AGAINST FLATIRON SPA WORKER

The New York Post reported that a man who said he was sexually abused while getting a massage in the Living Fresh Men’s Spa at 44 West 22nd Street is suing the person he accused of the crime. As Town & Village reported in September, 47-year-old Pei Tian was charged with sexual abuse after he allegedly removed the towel from the victim during a massage and used his hands to touch the victim’s genitals and buttocks. The suit says that the victim, New Jersey resident Ronnie Arnau, went to the spa with his husband to get a massage and facial but 10 minutes into the session, Tian began focusing “exclusively” on Arnau’s buttocks, making him uncomfortable. The suit seeks unspecified damages and Arnau’s lawyer said that the spa ignored her client when Arnau first reported the assault.

MAN CHARGED WITH EXTORTION OVER PHONE STOLEN FROM GYM

Police arrested 40-year-old Sefu Sieka for an alleged theft in front of 4 Union Square East on Tuesday, November 13 at 11:19 a.m. The victim previously went into the 13th Precinct and told police that his wallet had been stolen from his locker while he was working out at a Blink Fitness.
He said that after it was taken, an unknown woman contacted him and said that she had his wallet and credit cards and wanted a reward from him in exchange for returning the wallet. She also reportedly told the victim that she had used the money in his wallet to buy food.
The victim and special operations officers from the 13th Precinct set up a meeting with the victim and Sieka, at which point Sieka was allegedly seen with the victim’s wallet before handing it over in exchange for cash. He was arrested shortly after. Sieka was charged with grand larceny by extortion, possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

WOMAN ALLEGEDLY LIED HER WAY INTO A FLATIRON APARTMENT

Police arrested 66-year-old Constance Gibbons for allegedly trespassing inside an apartment at 1107 Broadway this summer. Police said that Gibbons went inside the building on July 17 around 5 p.m. and gave the doorman her name, allegedly telling him that she was a representative of Eaton Properties, a property management company. Police said that the doorman gave her a key to one of the apartments, which she then reportedly entered unlawfully. Gibbons was arrested inside the 13th Precinct on Friday, November 16 at 5:34 p.m. Police said that Gibbons gained entry into an apartment by use of deception and remained there without permission.

‘DRUNK’ DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER CRASHING INTO SCAFFOLDING

Police arrested 25-year-old Einne Bunting after he was involved in an accident in front of 49 West 20th Street on Saturday, November 17 at 2:39 a.m. Police said that Bunting was driving east on West 20th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, allegedly speeding, when he reportedly lost control of the vehicle, spun out of control and crashed into the scaffolding in front of the building on West 20th. When police arrived, Bunting allegedly had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Bunting was taken to Bellevue Hospital for blood testing after he was arrested. He was charged with criminal mischief and intoxicated driving.

MAN ACCUSED OF DAMAGING LYFT DRIVER’S CAR IN KIPS BAY

Police arrested 28-year-old Youssouf Konate for allegedly damaging a car at the corner of First Avenue and East 28th Street on Saturday, November 17 at 8:45 a.m. The victim told police that he received a call to pick up Konate from his Lyft app. When he arrived, Konate and five other men tried to get into the victim’s car. The victim told Konate that he wasn’t allowed to have that many people in the car, after which Donate allegedly kicked the passenger’s side rear door, leaving a dent.

TEEN WORKER ARRESTED FOR STEALING CASH FROM BED BATH & BEYOND

Police arrested a teenager inside the bed Bath & Beyond at 620 Sixth Avenue for petit larceny on Tuesday, November 13 at 8:30 p.m. Police said that the teen, an employee at the store, was observed swiping cash from the store’s register on various occasions between November 5 and 12. The total value lost was under $1,000. The teen’s name is being withheld because of his young age.

Thief steals credit card from building on E. 13th St., then shops at Target

Oct11 Target theft suspect

Theft suspect at Target

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a thief who stole a Visa credit card from a building on East 13th Street and First Avenue and then spent $327, using the card at Target.

Police released the information this week although the incident occurred on Sunday, September 14 at 8 a.m. Police say the man got into the lobby of the building where the 31-year-old victim lives and took the credit card although it wasn’t clear how he got in or if he swiped the card from a mailbox or an open area where mail was lying around. He then headed to the Target store at East 14th Street and Avenue A.

The suspect is a light-skinned man who appears to be in his 20s and tall. He was last seen wearing a white baseball cap, a black tee-shirt with “thumbs up” written on the front and light gray jeans 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 CrimeStoppers website at Nypdcrimestopppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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).

Female bag thief preying on women at Union Square Starbucks

Nov16 Bag theft suspect2

Theft suspect at jewelry store

Cops are looking for a woman believed to have stolen wallets and bags from women at Starbucks as well as Gemma restaurant inside the Bowery Hotel. The thief apparently takes bags and wallets that their owners have hung on the backs of their chairs and uses their credit cards.

Two of the incidents took place at the Starbucks at 10 Union Square East.
On Saturday evening, October 14, a 24-year-old woman was having coffee when she realized her wallet was missing. She then discovered her credit card was used at a nearby Taco Bell at 18 East 14th Street.

On Monday morning, October 16, a 25-year-old woman at Starbucks realized the bag she’d placed on the floor next to her had disappeared. In this case, there were no unauthorized charges.

Continue reading

Cops looking for man stealing from lockers at New York Sports Club gyms

jan19-gym-thief1

Gym locker theft suspect

 By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a thief who’s been raiding lockers at Manhattan gyms for cash, clothes, laptops and other electronics since last September.

Police are currently aware of 14 thefts downtown, midtown and in Murray Hill and Chelsea as well as one incident in Gramercy, all at different locations of the New York Sports Club.

In the Gramercy incident, on October 13, the thief stole a 22-year-old man’s credit cards and keys from an unlocked locker at the New York Sports Club at 113 East 23rd Street near Park Avenue South. Based on surveillance photos, the white, very short-haired suspect is easily able to blend in, arriving to each place in workout gear or in casual clothing.

The first gym hit was the NYSC at 1221 Avenue of the Americas and 43rd Street, where the man made off with a backpack from an unlocked locker. He also took the victim’s shoes, headphones, credit cards and clothing.

jan19-gym-thief2

Police say he stole 14 times from different Manhattan locations of the gym.

Back in October, the commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney warned the community at a meeting about a rash of gym locker thefts. New York Sports Club, he noted, was an especially popular target. He recommended that gym users get master locks that require keys.

Anyone with information about the gym thefts 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 or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Cops issue summonses for underage drinking at First Avenue lounge

Mar17 Visana

Visana, a pizzeria in front and cocktail lounge in back, on First Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Visana, the First Avenue speakeasy style cocktail lounge that’s previously drawn the ire of neighbors due to nighttime noise, had the 13th Precinct’s commanding officer seeing red recently after officers issued seven summonses for underage drinking.

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney said the 13th Precinct will be taking a more active role with regards to disruptive patrons at Visana after those incidents, which occurred at the end of February.

“We’ve been on top of them lately but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Timoney said. “(Visana owner David Jaffee) was crying out in the street saying they didn’t want this to happen but they advertised a party that night. They knew this would happen when they packed the place.”

Jaffee and his partner Ross Rachlin have been at a number of meetings of the 13th Precinct Community Council in the last few months but were not present this Tuesday as Timoney addressed community members.

Area residents, who were at the meeting to find out if progress had been made in keeping the bar under control, praised the police officers who have responded to the scene in dealing with the drunken crowds.

Visana recently failed to get the support of a Community Board 6 committee in its hopes for renewal of its liquor license. The business has an upcoming hearing with the State Liquor Authority regarding charges on noise and license issues.

Continue reading

Men indicted for rape, robbery; Officer assaulted at Bellevue

THREE MEN INDICTED FOR RAPE, ROBBERY
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of Fernando Sandel, 27, Isaias Rivera, 31, and Joey Cruz, 26, for allegedly conspiring to rape and rob prostitutes. The defendants were charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with predatory sexual assault, rape, burglary, and robbery, among other charges, including conspiring together to commit those crimes.

On August 3, Sandel, Rivera, and Cruz contacted a prostituted woman online and met her in a Midtown hotel room, where they allegedly sprayed her in the face with mace and bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties before repeatedly sexually assaulting her. The three defendants are similarly accused of attacking a prostituted woman whom they met online in a Gramercy apartment the next day, spraying her in the face with mace and binding her wrists and ankles before sexually assaulting her. In an earlier incident on June 28, Sandel and Cruz allegedly sexually assaulted a prostituted woman on the roof of a Bronx apartment building after spraying her in the face with mace. The men are also charged with stealing property from each woman, including the purses of two victims.

MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH SEPTEMBER ROBBERY
Police arrested 25-year-old Mohamed Diaby inside the 13th Precinct last Tuesday at 10 p.m. for a robbery that took place at the corner of West 27th Street and Sixth Avenue on September 26 at 3:05 a.m. Police said that Diaby drove up next to the victim in a black Jeep and told him that he had a gun. He allegedly forced the victim into the back of the vehicle while two other suspects snatched his property. Police said the suspects then pushed him from the vehicle and fled north on Sixth Avenue. The victim tracked his iPhone to West 29th Street and Ninth Avenue but the phone was not recovered. The other two suspects have not yet been arrested.

TEENS ARRESTED FOR ‘THEFT’ FROM FOOD VENDOR
Police arrested a 16-year-old and 18-year-old Xavier Chalas for petit larceny at the corner of First Avenue and East 25th Street last Tuesday at 2:28 a.m. Police said that the teen and Chalas removed cash from a food cart at the corner without permission. Chalas was also allegedly in possession of a scalpel and was charged with possession of a weapon.

OFFICER ASSAULTED AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 23-year-old Andrew Baker for assault of a peace officer inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Friday at 7:20 p.m. While he was in police custody, Baker allegedly punched the officer who was guarding him in the face, causing swelling and pain.

TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘MUGGING’ ON SEVENTH AVENUE
Police arrested 28-year-old Spencer Daly and 25-year-old Daniel Maldonado for grand larceny last Tuesday at 3:25 p.m. in front of 333 Seventh Avenue.

Police said that Daly and Maldonado removed property from the victim without permission, and Daly was found to be in possession of the victim’s property. Maldonado allegedly refused to be handcuffed and police said that he kicked out the passenger’s side rear window of a marked Radio Motor Patrol vehicle. He was also allegedly in possession of several credit cards that didn’t belong to him.

Daly was also charged with theft and Maldonado was additionally charged with criminal mischief, possession of stolen property, jostling and resisting arrest.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’ WITH JEWELRY BOX
Twenty-year-old Hannah Sperber was arrested for assault last Tuesday at 12:07 p.m. inside 201 East 15th Street. The victim told police that Sperber hit her in the face with a jewelry box, causing broken front teeth and an injury on her head that required two stitches, and also caused a fractured wrist. Police did not have any information about how Sperber knew the victim, but she told police that Sperber is very aggressive.

‘DRUG’ SALE ON THIRD AVENUE
Eighteen-year-old Vincent McLeod was arrested for the sale of a controlled substance in front of 171 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. Police said that McLeod agreed to sell a quantity of a controlled substance to an undercover officer for a sum of money. McLeod was also charged with petit larceny and fraudulent accosting. Police said that McLeod is known as an MGZ crew member, which is a gang in Brooklyn known as Marcy Gangstas.

MAN NABBED FOR VERIZON STORE ‘BURGLARY’
Eighteen-year-old Fernando Rodriguez was arrested at the 13th Precinct last Tuesday for burglary. Police said that Rodriguez forcibly entered a Verizon store overnight and removed three cell phones without permission. After he was read his Miranda rights, he allegedly identified himself on surveillance video removing the phones.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘TRESPASSING’ IN WEST 26TH ST. BUILDING
Police arrested 34-year-old Patrick Gaillard for criminal trespass inside 25 West 26th Street last Wednesday at 8:35 a.m. Gaillard was allegedly in the basement of the building without permission to be there. Police said that he was also in possession of a gravity knife, and he was charged with possession of a weapon.

MAN NABBED FOR SELLING ‘DRUGS’
Police arrested 24-year-old Kyle Ayala for sale of a controlled substance and intent to sell a controlled substance in front of 125 West 26th Street last Saturday at 11:40 p.m. Police said that Ayala exchanged a quantity of a controlled substance with another person who wasn’t arrested. When police stopped him, he allegedly fled and once he was detained, he began to flail his arms to prevent being handcuffed. He was also charged with resisting arrest. When he was searched, police said he was also in possession of a quantity of a controlled substance and packaging for drugs.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘TRESPASSING’ IN NYCHA BUILDING
Two men were arrested for trespassing in a NYCHA building at 224 East 28th Street in separate incidents last week.

Police arrested 43-year-old Juan Nieves last Tuesday at 2:42 p.m. Police said that Nieves entered and remained unlawfully on the roof landing at the building even though a sign in the stairwell clearly states that roof access is not permitted except by authorized personnel.

Nineteen-year-old Kaliel Frazier was arrested last Thursday at 9:47 p.m. Frazier was allegedly trespassing on the second floor of the building.

MAN BUSTED FOR TRESPASSING IN EAST 27TH ST. BUILDING
Vincent Querrazi, 48, was arrested for criminal trespass inside 243 East 27th Street last Wednesday at 8:58 p.m. Police said that Querrazi was trespassing in the sixth floor stairwell in the building. After he was searched, police found that he was allegedly in possession of a controlled substance and he was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Police Watch: Men arrested for phone ‘snatching,’ man arrested with dildo

‘MASTURBATOR’ ARRESTED NEAR UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 44-year-old Reggie Frank for public lewdness at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Union Square East last Tuesday at noon. Frank allegedly exposed his erect penis through a hole in his shorts and started masturbating in front of the victim.

MAN CAUGHT WITH PANTS DOWN AND DILDO
John Pheffer, 69, was arrested for public lewdness in front of 3 East 27th Street last Wednesday at 2:49 p.m. Police said that he was in front of the building with his pants down, showing his private parts on a public sidewalk while holding a dildo in his left hand.

TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR PHONE ‘SNATCHING’
Police arrested 21-year-old Daniel Rodriguez and 26-year-old Cornell Williams for petit larceny at the corner of Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street last Saturday at 3:40 a.m. Police said that the two men were working together to steal property from the victim. Williams allegedly swiped a black Samsung cell phone from next to the victim’s hand and police said that Rodriguez was standing as a lookout. Rodriguez was also charged with possession of marijuana and Williams, who police said was in possession of the phone that the men allegedly swiped, was also charged with possession of stolen property.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘GAMBLING’ DURING DICE GAME
Police arrested six people for promoting gambling in front of 344 East 28th Street last Saturday at 12:10 a.m. Forty-year-old Quammie Logan, 21-year-old Michael McCants, 46-year-old Zadie Morris, 38-year-old Ian Shillingford, 25-year-old James Paige and 48-year-old Sean Shillingford were allegedly in front of the building playing Cee-lo, a dice game, for cash. Police said that Logan was in possession of the dice and $80 in cash when he was stopped by the officer.
Morris and Ian Shillingford were also charged with possession of a gambling device and possession of marijuana. Morris was allegedly in possession of a grinder with marijuana residue and police said that Shillingford was in possession of 36 glassine envelopes of alleged marijuana.
McCants, Paige and Sean Shillingford were also charged with possession of a gambling device.

MAN BUSTED FOR ATTEMPTED BIKE ‘THEFTS’ ON E. 14TH ST.
Police arrested 32-year-old Angel Rivera for bribery and possession of stolen property in front of the Stuyvesant Town Associated Supermarket, 409 East 14th Street last Tuesday. At 10:19 a.m., Rivera was allegedly carrying a screwdriver and police said they observed him removing a bicycle and bike parts without permission. He allegedly threw the screwdriver on top of a van in an attempt to conceal the evidence. Police said that he was found in possession of stolen property.

GYM ‘THIEF’ BUSTED
Police arrested 24-year-old Christopher Lafontant for petit larceny inside the New York Sports Club at 10 Irving Place last Tuesday at 12:55 a.m. Police said that Lafontant removed property worth over $1,000 from lockers at the gym without permission.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘DRUGS’ IN NYCHA STAIRWELL
Police arrested two men for the sale of a controlled substance inside 344 East 28th Street last Tuesday at 10:10 p.m. Police said that 36-year-old William Glen and 54-year-old Gerald Beatty sold a quantity of a controlled substance to an undercover detective in the staircase of a housing development. Police said that when they were stopped, Glen refused to be handcuffed by placing his hands inside his pockets and stiffening his arms. Police said he was in possession of a controlled substance that was in his left front pants pocket and he had a ziplock bag of alleged PCP in his right front pants pocket. He was also charged with resisting arrest, intent to sell a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

‘POT’ SMOKER TO COP: LEAVE ME ALONE
Adrian Cevallos, 24, was arrested at the corner of Madison Avenue and East 26th Street last Thursday at 3:32 p.m. Police said that Cevallos was smoking marijuana on a sidewalk and when an officer approached him, he allegedly tried to punch the cop, telling the officer to leave him alone. After a short chase, Cevallos allegedly resisted arrest by flailing his arms, going limp and forcefully pulling his arms away in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed. Cevallos was charged with resisting arrest, possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct.

BIKE ‘THIEF’ BROKE LOCKS WITH TEETH
Police arrested 53-year-old Nathaniel Gaines for burglar’s tools in front of 130 East 25th Street last Wednesday at 11:08 a.m. Gaines was allegedly casing several bicycles near Sixth Avenue and West 26th Street. Police said he then proceeded to 130 East 25th Street where he was seen physically breaking bicycle locks with his teeth. He was also charged with petit larceny, criminal mischief and possession of stolen property.

CVS EMPLOYEE ASSAULTED
Police arrested 46-year-old Keith Morris for assault in front of the CVS Pharmacy at 750 Sixth Avenue last Thursday at 10:10 p.m. The victim told police that while he was cleaning at work, Morris came up to the door of the store and started pulling on the handle. When the employee told him that they were closed, Morris allegedly grabbed him by the shirt, causing scratches on his chest. Two people walked out of the store, after which Morris allegedly punched the victim in the face multiple times, causing bruising and redness. The fight was broken up by a witness who was in the store.

‘PANHANDLER’ ARRESTED FOR BLOCKING TRAFFIC
Police arrested 46-year-old Rafael Cepeda for a New York State law unclassified misdemeanor and disorderly conduct at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 29th Street last Friday at 6:03 p.m. Police said that Cepeda was begging in a public street, walking over to moving vehicles and causing traffic to be impeded.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘CASING’ CARS
Sixty-year-old Louis Rosario was arrested for petit larceny at the corner of Union Square East and East 15th Street last Saturday at 5:46 p.m. Rosario was allegedly casing over 20 vehicles in a car break-in prone location and police said that they observed him for 45 minutes, walking around Gramercy Park and looking into vehicles while allegedly trying to gain access by pulling on the car door. Police said that when they searched him, he was in possession of merchandise that he could not explain how he acquired. Police said that the vehicle where he stole property from was parked at East 17th Street and Second Avenue.

Man on bike snatching phones and bags from women in Gramercy and Flatiron

Phone and bag snatching suspect

Phone and bag snatching suspect

Police are looking for a man who’s stolen from at least eleven women throughout the Gramercy and Flatiron neighborhoods while riding a bike. Cops say the man has been riding up to women and then snatches their phones or their purses before pedaling away on either a Citi Bike or a bike with a basket.

The 13th Precinct’s new commanding officer, Captain Brendan Timoney, had warned the community about a cyclist stealing phones out of women’s hands while they’re distracted at the last Community Council meeting, but details on the crimes weren’t released by police until Wednesday night.

Cops say the larceny pattern, which began in February, is as follows:

On Monday, February 2 at around 11:30 p.m., the man snatched an iPhone from a a 32-year-old woman who was walking on 6th Avenue.

On Tuesday, February 3 at around 10:30 p.m., he grabbed an iPhone from a a 34-year-old woman walking on West 19th Street near 5th Avenue.

On Saturday, February 28 at 9 p.m., the man stole a phone from a 21-year-old woman walking on East 20th Street at Second Avenue.

On Saturday, March 7 at 11:30 p.m. the man snatched a purse from a 34-year-old woman as she walked along East 27th Street, in the vicinity of Third Avenue.

On Sunday, March 15 at 2:20 a.m., the man swiped a purse from a 29-year-old woman who was in front of 100 West 21st Street.

On Sunday, March 15 at 10:40 p.m., the man grabbed a phone out of a 22-year-old woman’s hand as she was walking along East 22nd Street.

On Tuesday, March 31 at 1 a.m., he grabbed a phone from a 24-year-old woman who was walking on East 21st Street near Park Avenue South.

On Saturday, April 4 at 6 a.m. he stole a phone from a 21-year-old woman who was standing in front of 32 East 32nd Street.

On Monday, April 20 at midnight, the man took a phone from a 27-year-old woman walking on 6th Avenue, in the vicinity of West 16th Street.

On Tuesday, April 28 at 1 a.m., he stole a purse from a 23-year-old woman in front of 544 6th Avenue.

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 10:30 p.m., he grabbed a purse from a 42-year-old woman who was in front of 135 East 17th Street.

There were no injuries reported in any of the incidents and police say the the serial cyclist thief is a black man with a beard.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or submit tips by logging onto www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Man beaten outside Whole Foods, drug arrest outside Stuy Town

VIDEO SHOWS MAN BEATEN OUTSIDE OF WHOLE FOODS
Gothamist reported that a video was uploaded to LiveLeak on Monday that captured the beating of an unidentified man outside the Union Square location of Whole Foods. The video, which has since been removed, shows people who appear to be Whole Foods employees repeatedly punching and kicking the man who was attempting to get into the store after hours. The blog noted that the incident allegedly occurred on December 30. No arrests have been made but Whole Foods told Grub Street that the team members who have been identified so far have been placed on administrative leave.

DRUG ARREST OUTSIDE STUY TOWN
Police arrested 52-year-old Kenneth Spulka for possession of a controlled substance in front of 527 East 14th Street last Friday at 5:20 p.m. Police said that Spulka was in possession of a pipe with alleged crack cocaine residue.

ASSAULT AT IHOP
Police arrested 28-year-old Quincy Robinson for assault in front of the IHOP at 235 East 14th Street last Thursday at 6:34 a.m. Robinson allegedly hit another man on the head and cheek. Police said that the victim was bleeding from his head and had pain in his chest.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘STOLEN’ PHONE
Police arrested 21-year-old Tredez Colbert for petit larceny in front of the Bounce Sporting Club at 55 West 21st Street last Thursday at 2:33 a.m. Colbert allegedly swiped a Galaxy cell phone from a coat that was lying on a chair. A witness said that Colbert attempted to throw the phone to the ground after security approached him. Colbert was also arrested for possession of stolen property.

DRIVING WITH SUSPENDED LICENSE
Police arrested 45-year-old livery cab driver Dale Lama last Tuesday at 2:46 a.m. at the corner of East 22nd Street and Third Avenue. Lama was driving his livery cab when he was involved in accident. Police said that after checking his license, they found that it had been suspended.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘SKIPPING’ CAB FARE
Police arrested 21-year-old Israa Chegi for theft of services at the corner of Third Avenue and East 18th Street last Thursday at 5:07 a.m. The driver told police that Chegi and three men got into his cab at a downtown location. When they arrived at Third Avenue and East 18th, the men left without paying. Chegi allegedly refused to pay the fare. Police said that when she was arrested, Chegi said, “I want to act like a child.” She then fell to the ground, getting cuts on her knees in the process.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’
Fifty-year-old Seynabou Diaw was arrested for assault inside the 13th precinct last Friday at 6:55 p.m. Diaw allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing pain to her lips. Police said that the incident occurred in an elevator at Bellevue Hospital inside 462 First Avenue.

TJ MAXX ‘SHOPLIFTER’ NABBED
Larry Roman, 26, was arrested for petit larceny inside the TJ Maxx at 620 Sixth Avenue last Tuesday at 7:24 p.m. Roman allegedly took merchandise from the shelf, concealed it inside his coat and attempted to leave the store without paying. Roman was also charged with theft.

‘THEFT’ AT AMERICAN APPAREL BY FORMER EMPLOYEE
Twenty-year-old Andrew Titaley was arrested inside the 13th Precinct for petit larceny last Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Titaley is a former employee of American Apparel and he allegedly stole three pairs of shorts from his old place of employment. Police said that Titaley walked into the dressing room and took off the tags, which a store employee found, and Titaley allegedly left the store without paying.

CREDIT CARD THEFT
Police arrested Eugene Smith, 31, inside the 13th precinct last Sunday at 2:15 p.m. for grand larceny. Smith allegedly took credit cards from the victim’s home and used it to make purchases without permission. Police said that Smith was also in possession of methamphetamine and ketamine. Smith was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘CHILD ABUSE’
Police arrested 35-year-old Irene Peraza for endangering the welfare of a child last Wednesday at 8:22 p.m. inside 1186 Broadway. Peraza allegedly slapped her daughter, who is under 17, and also scratched her hand. The victim told police that the argument started when she tried to stop her mother from drinking because the daughter felt that her mother was drinking excessively. Peraza was also charged with assault.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF AT LOCAL RESTAURANT
Forty-five-year-old James Sanders was arrested for criminal mischief inside the 13th precinct last Monday at 8:15 p.m. Sanders allegedly damaged the front desk computer screen intentionally while inside Cafeteria at 119 Seventh Avenue.

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.

ID theft is common type of larceny in 13th Precinct

Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg gives the latest local crime stats at Tuesday’s 13th Precinct Community Council meeting. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg gives the latest local crime stats at Tuesday’s 13th Precinct Community Council meeting. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

In the first 13th precinct community council meeting after the summer break, the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg reported that after a mostly uneventful season, crime is up 5.2 percent this month. However, he added that crime is down for the year overall.

Grand larcenies, traditionally a problem for this area, were up this month but are also down 7 percent for the year and decreased during the summer, Ehrenberg said.

Identity theft is the most common type of grand larceny and the deputy inspector noted that the precinct is still having problems with thieves stealing debit card information with card scanners taped over ATMs.

When a resident at the meeting inquired about the bank’s awareness of the problem in their own ATMs, Ehrenberg added that they weren’t necessarily at fault for missing it.

“The skimmers are only on the ATM for a very short period of time, for about an hour,” he said. “They’re usually put on later in the evening after the bank was closed already so they wouldn’t always notice.”

Ehrenberg emphasized that residents should call 911 when they encounter one of these skimmers, which are easily recognizable because they are flimsy and attached with double-sided tape.

Felony assaults have also been a problem this summer but Ehrenberg noted that in most cases, the fights involved people that knew each other. The increases are also due to assaults of EMTs at Bellevue and the shelters in the area. Grand larceny auto is also up, with nine cars being stolen within the precinct this month, compared to six that had been stolen by the same point last year. Ehrenberg noted that there seems to be a trend there and that it’s mostly rental cars that are getting swiped.

“There’s a way they can overcome the security system that Zipcar uses,” he said. “There’s another way they can use the device to get in and steal the cars. It’s a popular system and it’s going to take them a while to change it, so we’re seeing an increase in that in the command.”

He added that residents don’t have to worry so much about a car they have rented being stolen because most of these incidents have occurred in the locations where the cars are picked up.

As in the past, grand larceny of unattended property continues to be a problem for the precinct.

“There are still a lot of laptops being left in restaurants and coffee shops. You’re not going to leave $2,000 in cash just sitting there, so don’t leave your laptop,” Ehrenberg warned.

Residents at the meeting were curious about the impact of the mayor’s Vision Zero plan, which was introduced over the summer. Captain Steven Hellman noted that since Mayor de Blasio has been in office, the precinct has seen decreases in collisions this summer. There is currently an arterial slow zone on Seventh Avenue and Sixth Avenue will be a slow zone this December.

As in most community council meetings in the past, residents also expressed their frustrations about cyclists who don’t follow the rules of the road, often riding on sidewalks and without lights at night.

One Stuyvesant Town resident said that he’s been seeing delivery people riding their bikes recklessly near his building at 21 Stuyvesant Oval.

“You’re going to find a body in 20 different pieces due to these bicyclists,” the resident said. “They’re like kamikazes coming around the curve behind 21 Oval. Someone is going to get killed on the bottom of the hill. Pedestrians are getting less safe.“

Police Officer John Sedita said that the NYPD has a good relationship with Stuyvesant Town’s Public Safety officers and would talk to them about the issue. Another resident, though, had a suggestion for those two-wheeled officers as well.

“Remind Stuy Town security that they need lights on their bikes, too,” the resident, who didn’t want to be identified, said at the meeting.