Police Watch: Men wanted for medication thefts, cell phone thefts

Surveillance photo of suspect

Police are looking for a man believed to be behind a pattern of over-the-counter medication thefts that occurred in Gramercy, Midtown, the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side.
It was reported to the police that on Tuesday, February 21 at 10:05 p.m., an unidentified man entered the Duane Reade located at 125 Third Avenue near East 14th Street and stole various medicationsfrom the shelves then fled in an unknown direction. The same man is suspected in eight other incidents from January 9 through February 23, with the suspect hitting Duane Reades on First and Second Avenue and Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side, as well as other locations of the chain on Columbus Avenue.
The individual is described as a black man, 30 to 40 years old, 5’ 10”, and was last seen wearing a gray jacket above a gray sweatshirt and a hat.
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.

Cell phone theft suspect

Police are still looking for a man wanted in connection with a number of cell phone thefts in Gramercy, Midtown North and South, and the Upper West Side.
The man is suspected of cutting the security devices on two cell phones inside a Verizon store at 395 Third Avenue on Sunday, January 22 around 5:15 p.m. and he is suspected of committing similar crimes at AT&T, Metro PCS and T-Mobile stores throughout the city in January. Last Friday, police also connected the man to an additional theft inside an AT&T store at 2066 Broadway on the Upper West Side, when he removed two cell phones before fleeing in an unknown direction.
The suspect is described as a man who is 5’10”, 165lb-175lbs and was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a quarter-length overcoat. He has a distinctive scar on the left side of his head right above the ear.
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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Police Watch: Woman arrested after swallowing lit joint, Man arrested for unprovoked attack

Police arrested 24-year-old Ashley Balbuena for criminal tampering and possession of marijuana in front of 72 East 26th Street last Thursday at 11:10 p.m. Police said that Balbuena was smoking a joint on the sidewalk in public view and when an officer approached her and identified himself, Balbuena allegedly attempted to eat and swallow the lit joint. Police said that she was informed several times that she would be arrested if she swallowed the joint but she continued to do so. Balbuena was arrested and taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Police arrested 22-year-old Thomas Blyden after he allegedly assaulted a passerby unprovoked at the corner of East 25th Street and First Avenue last Wednesday at 8:52 p.m. Police said that Blyden punched a man he didn’t know for no apparent reason. When police attempted to confront him, Blyden allegedly fled and when officers caught up with him, he allegedly tensed his body to prevent being handcuffed. Blyden was charged with assault and resisting arrest.

Thirty-year-old Tony Scott was arrested for burglary inside 239 East 21st Street last Wednesday at 7:50 p.m. Scott allegedly entered the commercial office inside the church and removed property without permission. Police said that Scott did not have permission to be inside the office. No further information was available about what was taken.

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Police Watch: Man arrested for assaulting mother, Man busted for meth and burglaries

Police arrested a 48-year-old man for assault inside his Stuyvesant Town building last Sunday at 4 a.m. The victim told police that she got into an argument with the suspect, who is her son, when he allegedly hit her on the hand with an unknown object, causing swelling to her wrist.
Police said that the suspect, whose name is being withheld by Town & Village to protect the victim’s privacy, then punched his mother repeatedly, causing swelling to her forehead, and he allegedly bit her nose. Police said that he also turned off her breathing machine. The victim told police that her son turns off the oxygen on her breathing machine on a daily basis and she is in fear for her life. The son was also charged with endangering the vulnerable elderly.
Marynia Kruk, a spokesperson for Stuyvesant Town management, said, “StuyTown Property Services is aware of the incident. Our Public Safety team responded and notified NYPD, and as always will cooperate with their investigation as needed.”

Police arrested 32-year-old Matthew Cherette for trespassing and criminal possession of a controlled substance inside 111 West 16th Street last Monday at 5:53 p.m. Police said that he was trespassing inside the building and when he was searched, was in possession of two clear plastic bags of crystal meth.
When he was arrested, police found that he was wanted in connected with three other incidents, including petit larceny and two burglaries. Police said that Cherette also took a credit card that had been mailed to a resident from the lobby area of an apartment building on January 24 and allegedly used the card to purchase gift cards at CVS. Police said that he also removed an envelope containing cash from a hotel room. He allegedly admitted to police that he had taken the envelopes and said he had a gambling problem. Police said that he also identified himself on surveillance video from CVS.

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Police Watch: Robbery at Old Navy, Stuy Town trespassers arrested

Old Navy robbery suspect

Old Navy robbery suspect

Police are looking for a man who slashed another man on the torso and robbed him at the Old Navy store at 610 Sixth Avenue.
Police said the 44-year-old victim had strolled into the store last Friday at 5:20 p.m. when the suspect used an unknown object to cut him before snatching $80 from his pants pocket. The robber then fled in an unknown direction and the victim was taken to Bellevue for his injuries.
Police said that the suspect is a man in his late 20s to early 30s with a light complexion and a beard, and was last seen wearing a two-tones grey sweatshirt, black pants and black 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). All calls are strictly confidential.

Police arrested two men for trespassing inside a Stuyvesant Town building and sleeping there last week.
Alberto Benavidez, 63, was arrested for criminal trespass inside 321 Avenue C last Tuesday at 9:25 a.m. Police arrested 36-year-old Michael Crayton for criminal trespass inside the same building last Friday at 7:07 a.m. Police said that both men were sleeping inside the building but there was no further information about how they got inside or which area specifically they were sleeping in.

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Police Watch: Men arrested for Flatiron shooting, Man busted for ‘drugs’ in Stuy Town

Police arrested three men in connection with a shooting in Flatiron in front of 105 West 22nd Street on Sunday at 12:55 a.m. The New York Daily News reported that the incident occurred at a book signing in the Auxiliary Lounge for the self-published erotic novella, “She’s Dickmatized,” by Tania Marie.
Police said that multiple shots were fired into a crowd near the lounge and a man with a gun was seen running into a black Mercedes. Ramel Harkless, 38, allegedly got into the backseat of the vehicle, which police said left the location and ran multiple red lights before abruptly coming to a stop. Police followed the Mercedes and when they stopped the vehicle, the found that Harkless was the only person in the backseat, while 45-year-old Barry Wiles was driving and 43-year-old Joseph Saunders was in the passenger’s seat. Police said they found a gun on the floor of the back passenger’s seat where Harkless had been sitting.
The victim was shot in the abdomen, torso, groin and in the leg. The suspects were arrested in front of 41 East 19th Street. The Daily News identified the victim as Robert Lowman and reported that Harkless and Lowman are both affiliated with the street gang the Bloods.
Harkless, Wiles and Saunders were charged with weapons possession. Wiles was also charged with reckless endangerment and Harkless was additionally charged with assault.

Police arrested 34-year-old Justin Stewart for possession of a controlled substance in front of 321 Avenue C last Thursday at 9:25 a.m. Police said that Stewart was seen holding an unknown controlled substance in plain view on the sidewalk.

Police arrested 37-year-old Tashi Phuntsok for assault at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 27th Street last Tuesday at 7:26 p.m. The victim told police that he was riding his bike when Phuntsok allegedly cut him off at the intersection. He and the victim proceeded to get into an argument. Phuntsok allegedly threw the victim to the ground and started kicking and punching him, causing an injury to his head and right hand, although he refused medical assistance at the scene.

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Police Watch: Murderer arrested in Union Square shooting, Man arrested for sex abuse in Union Square

Sixty-year-old Leslie Jiminez was arrested for assault last Sunday at 8:35 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct. According to the New York Daily News, the 55-year-old victim, who helps run a custodial company, had just arrived at an office building at 126 Fifth Avenue near West 18th Street around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning to pay her employees when Jiminez approached her in the hallway and allegedly demanded her purse. The victim struggled with Jiminez, who allegedly shot her in the leg before running off with the $2,000 in cash meant for her workers.
Jiminez was also charged with robbery, reckless endangerment, weapons possession and menacing. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries
DNAinfo reported that Jiminez has a rap sheet going back decades, with a robbery conviction in 1977 and a conviction for first-degree manslaughter in 1983. He was released in 1997.

Police arrested 23-year-old Charles Cassis for sexual abuse and public lewdness inside the Union Square subway station last Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Police said that Cassis rubbed his groin area on a woman’s buttocks repeatedly while they were on an uptown 5 train. Cassis also allegedly masturbated behind the victim. Police said that Cassis and the victim don’t know each other.

Police arrested 28-year-old David Richardson for allegedly assaulting an employee at L’Express restaurant at 249 Park Avenue South. The victim said last Sunday at 5 a.m. Richardson was being escorted out of the restaurant, which is when he punched the employee in the face.

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Police Watch: Assault outside Stuy Town, Robbery in Union Square

Police arrested 44-year-old Maria Paris for assault in front of 423 East 14th Street on the Stuyvesant Town side of the street last Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Police said that Paris struck the victim in the face with an umbrella, causing pain and swelling to her right eye, as well as cuts on her nose. No further information about the dispute was available. The victim was taken to Beth Israel Hospital.

Police arrested 39-year-old Nassor Debique at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th Street last Friday after he allegedly, while wearing a police uniform, displayed a badge to a man who was in the park taking pictures.
Debique allegedly told the man that he was a police officer and that he should be paying people in order to take their pictures and that a permit was required for him to photograph in the area. Police said that Debique then forcibly grabbed the victim’s backpack, camera and book and he allegedly searched the victim’s backpack without consent.
The suspect allegedly swung at one of the officers who was attempting to handcuff him and police said that it took the assistance of other officers to place him under arrest. Debique was charged with robbery, impersonation of a police officer, resisting arrest and harassment.

Police arrested 38-year-old Nelson Delgado for petit larceny last Tuesday after a string of alleged thefts of sunglasses.
Police said that Delgado entered a LensCrafters at 150 Fifth Avenue and East 20th Street on July 25 and allegedly stole sunglasses from the shelves. Police said that he also took sunglasses from another LensCrafters location at 288 First Avenue in Suyvesant Town on July 17. He allegedly took six additional pairs of sunglasses from another LensCrafters location at an unspecified time.
Delgado was arrested after he allegedly attempted to steal property from Cohen’s Fashion Optical at 603 Sixth Avenue and 17th Street on Tuesday at 5:41 p.m. Police said that he fled the location and was detained in front of 157 West 18th Street. Delgado was also charged with possession of stolen property.

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Union Square man runs against Maloney

Peter Lindner

Peter Lindner

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a 23-year Democrat incumbent, officially announced that she was running for reelection.

In a press release, she touted her experience fighting for transportation improvements as well as women and children’s rights.

Meanwhile, a computer programmer and resident of Union Square has entered the race against her.

Peter Lindner, a 66-year-old Democrat, said he’s never been involved in politics, either through political clubs or working for a politician. But he came to be inspired to run one day when he felt unsatisfied with a response he got from Maloney’s office when he went there with a constituent complaint.

The issue was over what he believes was corrupt behavior by another official that he wanted investigated. But after providing the congresswoman with documentation that argued his case, he said he was told by a staffer to stop calling, and that police would be called if he didn’t.

A spokesperson for Maloney declined to comment on Lindner’s claims.

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Police Watch: ‘Drunk’ drivers arrested, ‘Groper’ busted in Union Square

Police arrested 28-year-old Saman Ebrahimzadeh in front of 114 West 16th Street for intoxicated driving last Sunday at 4:40 a.m. Police said that Ebrahimzadeh was driving east on West 16th Street when he and his passenger allegedly began to hang outside of the car while it was moving. When they were stopped, Ebrahimzadeh allegedly had slurred speech and bloodshot watery eyes.

Police arrested 53-year-old Glenn Gordon for sexual abuse inside the Union Square subway station last Thursday at 7:48 p.m. Gordon allegedly rubbed his groin area on the victim’s buttocks multiple times while they were on a downtown 4 train. Police said that he and the victim did not know each other.

An alleged attempt by an 18-year-old to run off with a woman’s phone was foiled by a Good Samaritan last Friday.
The victim told police that she was standing in front of 200 Park Avenue South at 8:43 p.m. when Nickoles Rodriguez, 18, allegedly snatched her phone out of her hand and fled. However, police said that Rodriguez was stopped at the northeast corner of East 18th Street and Broadway by a civilian. The teen was later charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property.

Police arrested Thomas Thompson for assault last Friday at 9:45 a.m. at First Avenue and East 30th Street. An EMT told police that he was treating a patient on East 30th Street when Thompson allegedly approached him and became belligerent. Police said that Thompson then tried to get into the ambulance and leave with the patient who was inside. The EMT said that he ended up not getting in the ambulance but that he did approach the vehicle while it was attempting to drive away and allegedly continued to shout before spitting in the EMT’s face, police said. The EMT opened the door of the ambulance, at which point Thompson allegedly tried to spit at him again. He put up his hand to block Thompson from spitting at him but the suspect then allegedly bit the EMT’s hand.

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Police Watch: Men wanted for fur theft, Assault at deli on Lex.

Police arrested 32-year-old Jarrick Sinclair for an unclassified felony and for being a fugitive from another state inside the 30th Street Men’s Shelter at 400 East 30th Street last Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Police said that Sinclair was wanted by the state of Missouri and there was a warrant from the county of St. Louis from March 6.

Cops are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying three suspects wanted for burglary within the confines of the 13th Precinct.
On Monday, November 16 at 3:49 a.m. inside of Henry Cowit/Madison Avenue Furs at 118 West 27th Street, three unknown suspects got into the business by throwing a brick through a glass front door. Once inside, the suspects stole 30 fur coats with a total value of about $25,000. The suspects fled in a black four-door sedan.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips and TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are kept strictly confidential.

Police arrested 36-year-old Abdul Alim for assault inside New York Deli and Grocery at 71 Lexington Avenue (at East 26th Street) on Christmas Day at 11:34 p.m. The victim told police that she walked into the deli when Alim, who she didn’t know, allegedly approached her and hit her in the face with a soda can. Police said that he then grabbed a black broom and struck her in the face multiple times with it. The victim called police and held Alim there, and she told police that he said he had been drinking and was drunk. The victim, who was taken to Lenox Hill Healthplex, sustained a swollen lip and stitches on the left side of her nose.

Police arrested 29-year-old Josiah Wall for graffiti and criminal mischief in front of Press, a sandwich shop, at 34 East 23rd Street on Christmas Day. Police said that Wall was seen at 9:16 p.m. making graffiti on a public sign and light pole that was a sketch of a man with glasses and the word “Vote” in red, white and blue.

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Police Watch: NYU student groped in ST, Con Ed contractor busted for ‘theft’

NYU’s Washington Square news reported that a student was groped last week in a Stuy Town apartment.
The student reported last Thursday that she was forcibly fondled by another NYU student in the apartment and police notification was offered but declined.

Police arrested 51-year-old Silvestre Reynoso inside the Con Edison offices at 4 Irving Place last Thursday at 11:35 a.m. for grand larceny and possession of stolen property. Police said that Reynoso was an employee at the office as an IT tech and he allegedly stole two brand new laptops belonging to Con Edison on November 10. Police said that he did not have permission to take the laptops and he allegedly sold them via Craigslist.
A representative for Con Edison said that Reynoso was an outside contractor that was hired to work in information resources for the utility and was not an employee of Con Edison.

Police arrested two people last Tuesday for forgery. Mohammed Hossain, 45, was arrested in front of 1177 Broadway at 1:30 p.m. and 40-year-old Borukhay Maksumov was arrested in front of 28 East 23rd Street at 3:30 p.m. Police said that Hossain displayed and offered for sale a wallet for ten dollars that was deemed counterfeit. Maksumov was allegedly offering for sale counterfeit bracelets that bore a trademark for Cartier. A representative from the company confirmed that the bracelets were counterfeit.

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Police Watch: Body found near NYU Langone, ‘Mugger’ arrested on East 23rd

This Tuesday around 11:39 a.m., police found an unconscious man inside a storm drain near East 33rd Street and First Avenue. The man was unconscious and unresponsive, police said. EMS soon arrived and pronounced the man deceased at the scene. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is ongoing. Police are withholding the man’s name pending proper family notification.

Police arrested 33-year-old Bryan Fuge for robbery in front of 23 East 23rd Street last Saturday at 9:16 p.m. Police said that Fuge followed a woman along the sidewalk and when she entered a dimly lit area he allegedly charged at her and forcibly snatched her pocketbook, causing the strap to break. Police said that Fuge fled east, which wound up being towards four plainclothes officers.
An officer then identified himself by stating, “Police, don’t move,” and Fuge yelled and allegedly lowered his shoulder, ramming into the officers. Police said that he resisted arrest by shoving, striking and writhing around while maintaining possession of the bag. Police said that Fuge is a suspect in two other robberies in the 13th and 17th precincts and was currently on parole. He was charged with robbery, criminal possession of stolen property and resisting arrest.

Police arrested 31-year-old Jenea Osborne at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 22nd Street last Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for grand larceny and possession of stolen property. The victim told police that she was eating a salad with her friend when someone came up to her and told her that he saw her bag get taken. She said that she had an iPad inside her bag. A witness told police that he saw Osborne walk into the store with a man who was behaving in a disorderly manner and he saw Osborne take the victim’s bag. The witness said that the man who was with Osborne left the store and came back briefly to make sure that no one was following her.
Officers later searched the area and put a description on the radio. Two officers were canvassing the uptown 6 train station and stopped Osborne since she fit the description. Police said that prior to the stop, they witnessed Osborne throw the black handbag into the train tracks. The witness made a positive ID of Osborne when she was arrested. The victim told police that she didn’t see her bag get taken but when the bag was recovered she said that it was hers.

Police arrested 41-year-old Francisco Garcia at the Union Square subway station for sexual abuse last Friday at 12:18 p.m. Police said that Garcia was on a downtown 4 train, allegedly rubbing and pressing his groin area against the victim’s buttocks and hip multiple times.

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Police Watch: Copper wire thief on the loose, Arrest for package thefts in PCV

Copper wire thief

Copper wire thief

Police are asking the public’s assistance in identifying a man wanted for stealing $900 worth of copper wire.
On Wednesday, September 30, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a man broke through a deadbolt lock and gained access to the roof of 110 West 14th Street. Once on the roof, the suspect removed twenty pounds of copper wire and two copper grounding plates from a Verizon cellular tower at the location. The suspect, who was last seen wearing a white hard hat, a dark Nike t-shirt with a bright-color swoosh, tan pants and white footwear, fled the scene.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips and TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are kept strictly confidential.

Town & Village reported last week that a man was apprehended by security for allegedly swiping packages in Peter Cooper, thanks to an eagle-eyed resident.
Police have since identified the suspect as 47-year-old Jose Gonzalez who has been arrested for petit larceny, possession of stolen property and criminal trespass last Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. inside 420 East 23rd Street.
A Stuy Town security officer said that multiple tenants had told him that an unknown man had been going through delivery packages on multiple floors in the building, removing items from the packages and putting them into a red bag that he was carrying. Security arrived at the building and stopped Gonzalez in the corridor of 420 East 23rd.
Gonzalez allegedly told security that he entered the building behind someone after the door had been opened, and he said that he was there to “hook up” with a man named Angel who was in apartment 8A. Upon further investigation, police found that there wasn’t anybody by that name in that apartment and no one was in that apartment at all at that time.
Police said that there were items in Gonzalez’s red bag that were still in packaging and were addressed to people who lived inside the building. Two of the items had the address of that building and the owners were present to validate that they had ordered and not received the items. Police said that there were three items in Gonzalez’s bag from J. Crew that he said did not belong to him. Open boxes were recovered by security on the 13th and seventh floors. Gonzalez was also charged with burglary.

Eighteen-year-olds Louis Morrison and Angel Nunez were arrested for grand larceny at 274 First Avenue last Wednesday at 4:35 a.m. Stuy Town security saw Morrison and Nunez on surveillance tape walking on the street and allegedly removed small items from the victim’s pants pockets. Security officers confronted the teens and called 911, and police said that a wallet with credit cards and a cell phone were found on the suspects.

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Garodnick bill would close stores selling K2

A packet of synthetic marijuana or K2, labeled “spice”

A packet of synthetic marijuana or K2, labeled “spice”

By Sabina Mollot

K2, or synthentic marijuana, a new drug associated with the growing homeless population that they city has recently declared war on, is now facing combat legislatively.

On Monday morning, the City Council held a hearing to discuss new bills to fight the epidemic, including one, by Council Member Dan Garodnick, that would shut down bodegas that have been selling the product cheaply and openly.

“Until they clean up their act,” he said. This would be by recognizing synthetic drug violations as a nuisance that could be declared under the Nuisance Abatement Law.

The problem currently, explained Garodnick, that despite the store owners’ brazen behavior, those hawking the product have been able to stay one step ahead of the law by routinely altering the chemical mix of ingredients.

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Cops shut down gambling club above 17th St. lingerie shop

Journelle lingerie shop (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Journelle lingerie shop (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Division busted a small gambling operation above the Journelle lingerie store at 3 East 17th Street on August 25 at 10 p.m. After getting a New York County search warrant, police arrested Rafael Lugo, 42, Sergio Valentin, 46, and Jin Feng, 35, for promoting gambling.
Police said that there were at least 15 people sitting at three different poker tables on the second floor of the building, all playing games of Texas Hold ‘Em with poker chips on the tables.

Valentin allegedly told police that he had been running the location for about three months under the business name “Admire Ads” and told them that the rate he charges of $10 per hand is one of the lowest in the city. Police also recovered $2,040 in cash from Valentin’s pocket.

Feng was sitting at one of the tables with at least eight other people and allegedly told police that he was the dealer. According to the criminal complaint from the District Attorney’s office, Feng had been working at the location for about three months, collecting $10 per hand for the house and placing the money he collected in a tray.

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