Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police arrested an alleged meth dealer living in Stuyvesant Town last week after using the social networking app Grindr to track him down. Harold Gondrez, 65, was arrested in his apartment at 9 Stuyvesant Oval last Thursday at 6:15 a.m. Police had gotten a warrant to a search his apartment after an undercover officer allegedly bought meth from him multiple times.
The officer who was investigating the case with Narcotics Borough Manhattan South made initial contact with Gondrez through the smartphone app, which is geared towards gay and bisexual men.
Police routinely conduct investigations in which they visit internet sites where drugs are known to be advertised for sale, according to law enforcement sources, and methamphetamine use is prevalent in the gay community. Drugs are typically advertised in coded language that police have come to recognize.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police busted a man for multiple burglaries after catching him trespassing in a residential building on West 26th Street last Saturday morning. Police said that they found Alan Panzano, 30, inside the stairwell near the 30th floor inside 55 West 26th Street at 6:07 a.m. last Saturday, reportedly with a backpack full of various keys and other tools commonly used for lock-picking.
Panzano allegedly told the officer who busted him that he was in the building to visit a friend named “Shawn White” who lives in “apartment 22C” but the superintendent told police there is no person named Shawn White who lives in the building and the building doesn’t have an apartment 22C. When he was arrested, Panzano was allegedly in possession of a stolen wallet with a gift card still inside. Police reportedly recovered 45 different keys, lock cylinders, latex gloves, assorted screwdrivers, wires with hooks at the ends, drills bits and WD40, all of which police said are commonly used to break into apartments.
According to the District Attorney’s office, a resident of 55 West 26th Street discovered that his wallet was missing from his apartment around 12:30 p.m. on May 21, and also noticed that his computer had been unplugged. He told police that his wallet contained a credit card, a debit card, a $60 Visa gift card and $60 in cash. Police said that surveillance video showed Panzano entering and leaving the West 26th Street building on that day.