First Ave. lounge still noisy, say neighbors

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Attendance at the first 13th Precinct Community Council meeting of 2016 was surprisingly high considering the event was on Tuesday, a bitterly cold evening.

But residents who live on First Avenue at East 18th Street above Visana, the relatively new pizza place that becomes a lounge at night, were motivated by what they complained is excess noise.

There have already been a couple of community council meetings in recent months to complain about the noise from this space. One resident was at the meeting this week with similar complaints, noting that on one recent evening, it was particularly loud because a party bus was parked in front of the establishment.

Owner David Jaffee, who has said previously that he wants to work with the community to resolve any ongoing issues, was at the meeting and said that this was the first time that there has been a party bus parked outside the business. Jaffee argued that he and his business partner are responsive to residents in the area but he noted that the resident who was at the meeting never reached out to him at the time to complain about the issue.

“We try to be proactive,” he said. “I went outside and spoke to the driver but the driver refused to move.”

But the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, who has held meetings with Jaffee on this issue in the past, wasn’t satisfied with the owner’s attempts to mitigate the noise problems.

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Residents threatened with arrest in latest scam


ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg

ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg was one of the recipients of a call currently targeting the community. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
Last week, Town & Village reported on a phone scam in which the caller claims to be from the IRS and suing the person being called. While variations on the scam have been reported nationwide for some time, there seemed to be a recent rash of phone calls to Peter Cooper Village residents.

Meanwhile, this week, a similar, but even more sinister phone scam has hit Stuyvesant Town.

One resident who received a call was ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg. Like in the previous scam, the caller used a computer generated, female voice when leaving a message on the answering machine. From that voice, however, came a no-nonsense threat of arrest to the person being called over allegations of tax fraud. The caller claimed to be Officer Smith from the United States Treasury who was warning that this was a final notice before the case ends up in Federal Claims Court or an arrest.

“Make sure you call us as soon as possible,” the voice added, after making the arrest threat. The call came from what appeared to be a Los Angeles-based number.

“Why would someone in Los Angeles call New York about tax fraud?” asked Steinberg, who was aware of the scam, and certainly didn’t buy it.

However, she wondered if the perpetrators knew something about the ages of the people they were calling.

“I don’t know if they have statistics on age, but I suspect they’re targeting people who are older,” she said.

Another resident who got the call around the same time as Steinberg, on Tuesday afternoon, also said she wouldn’t be calling back.

The resident, Kay Vota, said she read about the IRS scam in T&V last week, and guessed the scammers were “getting found out. So they’re going to change the way they’re doing it.”

A rep for the IRS last week told T&V said the unknown perps of that scam work from overseas, using technology to change their caller ID to make it seem as though the number is coming from Washington, DC or another local area. Once in contact with a mark, they’ve been known to threaten to sue or deport a victim or put liens on their properties if they don’t make payments using prepaid debit cards or other untraceable means of transfer.

As for the “Department of Treasury” calls, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General has issued a warning online at, confirming that they are from scammers.

“These callers have been described as threatening or abusive, and tell victims they need to make immediate payment to forestall arrest.  THESE ARE FRAUDS.  PLEASE EXERCISE CAUTION IN YOUR DEALINGS WITH ANYONE PURPORTING TO BE FROM A GOVERNMENT AGENCY AND DEMANDING MONEY OR INFORMATION,” the alert said.

It also mentioned a similar scam in which call recipients are told they’re getting grants, but then told they must pay a fee so that the funds are released.

“Likewise, e-mails promising a sum of money and purporting to be from the Treasury Secretary or his staff are false,” it said.

A spokesperson for the department said he couldn’t comment on the call without hearing it, but referred to the online alert.

IRS scammers target Peter Cooper residents

By Sabina Mollot

Earlier this week, a Peter Cooper Village resident received a robo-call that supposedly came from the Internal Revenue Service. The mechanical female voice that came through his answering machine informed the resident that he was being sued. To get more information about the legal action, the resident was instructed to call a number that appeared to be from a line in Washington state.

A day after the man shared this story with a neighbor, Marcia Robinson, Robinson received an eerily similar call, this one with a number that appeared to be local to Washington, DC. She then phoned a neighbor in her building to tell her about it, and that neighbor informed Robinson that she too had been contacted with the same message, and believed it was a scam.

“None of us called back,” said Robinson. Their caution was fortunate, since, according to a spokesperson for the IRS, such calls are indeed a scam, and one that is being run with more and more frequency, nation-wide.

IRS rep Patricia Svarnas explained, “It’s a huge scam going on right now and it’s one of our biggest issues.”

While the perpetrators are unknown, what is known is that they are overseas, using technology to alter their caller ID. The numbers will appear to be local, usually from Washington, DC, “to make it look official.”

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Cops warn of spike in scams, larcenies: Crime down overall, but scam calls, pick-pocketings and assaults are up

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

At the 13th Precinct Community Council’s most recent monthly meeting this past Tuesday, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg told residents about the slight decrease in overall crime for the area in the last month, although there has been a spike in larcenies.

The number of grand larcenies jumped by 7.7 percent in the last month, although Ehrenberg noted that the precinct is still down 4.9 percent for the year. He said that there has been an increase in pickpockets, as well as an increase in cons.

“There’s a new scam that criminals have been trying, where they use information about people’s family and medical conditions,” the commanding officer said. “There have been phone calls from people that the victims know.”

He noted that the phone calls are not actually from people known to the victim but are criminals who have managed to fake a phone number and manipulate the caller ID.

Ehrenberg added that there has also been an increase in ransom call scams, where criminals will call a victim and demand money for a ransom, but he noted that this was a known scam and that anyone receiving such a call should notify 911 immediately.

The commanding officer also noted that there has been a specific increase in grand larcenies of unattended property in restaurants and despite the recent arrest of suspects thought to be responsible for some of these crimes, he warned residents not to be careless with their property while sitting in restaurants in the neighborhood, specifically in eating establishments around Union Square.

“You have to be aware of your personal belongings,” he said.

There has also been an increase in murder for the precinct, which Ehrenberg said was due to the shooting that took place at Home Depot at the end of January ahead of the season’s first big snow storm. A former employee had gone in to confront one of the store managers, shot him and ultimately shot himself.

Inspector Ehrenberg said that the scene was especially chaotic because the store was so busy with people who were preparing for the snow, but commended both civilians and officers for their quick response. Before police arrived, witnesses had taken it upon themselves to perform CPR on the shooting victim and police continued until EMS arrived.

Felony assaults also increased 18.2 percent in the past month, and Inspector Ehrenberg said this was especially notable because half of these incidents were domestic violence. In two of the cases, Ehrenberg said that the suspects had been involved in domestic violence previously with other partners. He added that the increases were also due to an assault on a lieutenant and on nurses at Bellevue who were assaulted while attending to patients.

Robberies were down 14.3 percent for the precinct in the last month and burglaries were down 63 percent.

Inspector Ehrenberg honored the Cop of the Month from both last month and this month, since the officer last month wasn’t able to attend the meeting to be recognized for his work. Officer Phil McGovern was given the award for January for work that he did last December when a child was choking at Blue Smoke on East 27th Street. He was able to dislodge what was blocking the child’s airway before the EMS arrived by using the version of the Heimlich maneuver that is performed on children.

The commanding officer noted that some of the bad press the police department has been receiving in the last few months has overshadowed the officers who have been working hard, so he wanted to acknowledge the good work that McGovern had done.

Officer Jason Negron was given the honor for this month for making an arrest on a suspect who had been noted on a “wanted” poster and was responsible for a number of grand larcenies in various precincts throughout the city.

Detective Ray Dorrian announced at the meeting that the Citizens Police Academy would be starting up soon and the precinct is now accepting applications. He noted that anyone interested in the program can get an application by contacting him at (212) 477-7427.

Community Council President Frank Scala encouraged those at the meeting to take the course, saying that he had taken it before and had found it very useful.

“For that week you are a police officer and you learn a lot of things in it,” he said.

Police Watch: Teen purse snatcher arrested on 5th Ave., Three arrested in assault on E. 23rd


Police arrested a teenager for robbery in front of 260 Fifth Avenue last Wednesday at 11:32 p.m. Witnesses told police that the teen, along with another person who wasn’t arrested, snatched a woman’s purse. The teen used force to do so, pulling the victim’s hair and dragging her to the ground. The suspect was captured on the scene by a witness and was eventually placed under arrest when police arrived. The victim suffered an injury to her right elbow.


Police arrested three people in connection with an assault at 332 East 23rd Street last Friday at 1:30 a.m. Thirty-seven-year-old Alliesha Joseph-Morgan was arrested for assault and 37-year-old Teddy Wooten and 25-year-old James Barnes were busted for resisting arrest and for assault. Joseph-Morgan, Wooten and Barnes got into a fight with a woman outside a nearby club and allegedly punched the woman in the head and face, causing cuts and contusions. While attempting to arrest Barnes and Wooten, they refused to stop for the officers after being told to do so and refused to be placed in handcuffs. The two men allegedly pushed back, which police said necessitated the use of pepper spray to subdue them, and they refused medical treatment for pepper spray.


Police arrested 48-year-old Ricky Young for assault last Tuesday at 12:46 a.m. in front of Beth Israel’s 9 Perlman Place building. The victim told police that he got into an argument with Young, another patient at the hospital, and when security attempted to escort him out of the building, Young allegedly threw a garbage can and resisted their attempts to make him leave. While security was attempting to remove him, Young allegedly punched the victim in the eye, causing swelling.


Police arrested 50-year-old Joseph Oliver for assault last Thursday at 5:59 p.m. inside 127 West 25th Street. The victim told police that Oliver allegedly assaulted him with crutches, cutting him on the left side of his upper torso. The victim said that he didn’t know Oliver and they didn’t have any kind of argument that would have escalated the incident. The victim does not speak English and is only fluent in Spanish and an officer at the scene translated the information.


Police arrested a teen for possession of burglar’s tools in front of 444 Second Avenue last Wednesday at 8:06 a.m. Officers saw the teen being chased by two people who were yelling that the teen had stolen one of their phones. They headed north on Third Avenue, then East on East 24th Street. Police then saw the teen going north on Second Avenue on a bike toward East 25th Street. He kept going the wrong way on Second Avenue and police stopped him at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and East 25th Street. He was in possession of a metal bolt cutter and a Samsung G4 cell phone. Police were unable to verify if the cell phone was stolen.


Fifty-seven-year-old Jenetta Ferguson was arrested for grand larceny last Wednesday in front of 100 West 23rd Street. A man told police that he had given $8,500 to Ferguson on the promise that she would acquire a greencard for him. Ferguson is the victim’s ESL instructor and she allegedly has been given the money over the span of three months and has asked for more “to continue the visa process,” police said. Ferguson has received no legitimate documentation from INS or any agency to show that the money had been used for its promised purpose. The victim pointed her out on the street and she was arrested. She allegedly stated, “People, people, you think you are trying to help but they think it’s extortion.”


Police arrested 55-year-old Osvaldo Vasquez for petit larceny last Wednesday at 3:19 p.m. inside a doctor’s office at 16 East 16th Street. The victim told police that Vasquez is a patient at his office on the second floor. Vasquez was inside the office when the victim stepped out to use the restroom and when he returned, his cell phone was missing from the desk. After he called the police, officers demanded that Vasquez was to return the cell phone if he had it. Vasquez then allegedly reached into his groin area and pulled out an iPhone.


Twenty-year-old Christian Gonzalez was arrested for possession of stolen property last Friday at 7:21 p.m. on the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 15th Street. Gonzalez was allegedly in possession of a stolen Citi Bike. After searching him, police found that he was also allegedly in possession of a stolen Citi Bike keycard that belonged to someone else. A representative from Citi Bike verified that the bike was last docked on June 5 at 5:52 p.m. in the 5th precinct. Gonzalez does not belong to the Citi Bike program, police said.


Police arrested 32-year-old Jonattan Martinez, petit larceny last Monday at 1:15 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct at 230 East 21st Street. Martinez allegedly took a Verizon JetPack HotSpot from a cabinet without permission to do so from inside the construction site at 444 Second Avenue.


Police arrested 52-year-old Michael Mack for burglar’s tools and criminal trespassing last Thursday at 8:23 p.m. in front of 34 West 27th Street. Mack allegedly entered the freight entrance of the building without permission by slipping metal scissors into the lock and forcing the door open. When Mack was stopped, he was also in possession of metal pliers and a metal pick believed to be burglar’s tools, police said.


Police arrested 54-year-old Fabian Peralta for petit larceny last Thursday at 11:12 p.m. at 299 First Avenue. Peralta allegedly swiped a guitar and camera from a nearby bar.


Twenty-year-old Matthew Forty was arrested for menacing in front of 111 East 18th Street last Friday at 1 a.m. Forty allegedly displayed a yellow box-cutter knife while stating, “I’ll cut all of you,” the victim told police.


Police arrested 51-year-old Bruce Manning for assault and menacing in front of 14 East 28th Street last Saturday at 1:58 a.m. Manning allegedly hit the victim in the back of the head with an unknown object after he got in the middle of a fight between Manning and another tenant in the building. Manning also allegedly threatened the victim with a knife.


Police arrested 37-year-old Jon Reich for stolen property last Saturday at 5:27 p.m. on the corner of Park Avenue South and East 25th Street. Reich was seen driving a motorcycle without a license plate and when police stopped him, he did not have a driver’s license or registration. He was also allegedly in possession of a credit card that didn’t belong to him, as well as a bank account with a routing number and a credit account number with an expiration date that did not belong to him.


Police arrested 35-year-old Curtis Lawson for grand larceny last Wednesday at 1:13 a.m. in front of 307 Seventh Avenue. An investigator for the NCR Corporation was investigating money missing from ATMs that Lawson was servicing. The investigator had Lawson’s manager call him in to question him about possible involvement and he allegedly admitted to taking money from an ATM that he serviced on Lafayette Street. Lawson had $1,126 in cash in his wallet and two screwdrivers in his possession, police said.

Hello, Microsoft scammer calling

microsoftIn the June 19th issue of Town & Village, a Stuyvesant Town resident, wanting to warn neighbors, shared her story about being called by a scammer pretending to be from Microsoft who claimed to need to fix her computer. In this column, the author writes about a similar experience he had and how he dealt with the situation.

By Rob Engelhardt

I picked up my phone and heard, “Hello, I’m calling you from the Windows service department. I’m receiving error messages from your computer.” Meanwhile, my computer is at home turned off. I get these calls twice a week sometimes. I’ve been getting them for months. So finally I decided I’m going to have some fun with these people.

The lady who called me with an Indian accent gave me her fake American name as Rachel. So I asked her if her life has really come to the point where she needs to do this. Had it become so bad that she has to work for this scam, because if it is that bad, then she has nothing more to live for.

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Police Watch: Man wanted for bank robbery, Rangers fan gets scammed


Robbery suspect

Robbery suspect

Police are looking for a man they believe robbed a bank in the 13th Precinct.
The man allegedly entered the HSBC Bank located at 101 West 14th Street last Tuesday around 3:35 p.m. and passed a note demanding cash to a teller. He then fled the bank with $1267 inside of a manila envelope, police said. There were no reported injuries as a result of this incident.
The suspect is a white man who is approximately 50-60 years old, 5’8”, 160 lbs and was last seen wearing a burgundy button down shirt, gray t-shirt, jeans and black and gray sneakers and he was seen carrying a manila envelope.
Anyone with information in regards to this bank robbery is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

No arrests have been made in a case of reckless endangerment that occurred in front of the Coffee Shop at 29 Union Square West last Wednesday at 1:20 a.m. Victims told police that they were eating at the Coffee Shop in the sidewalk seating area when an unknown person threw fireworks under the table, causing alarm and burn marks on their clothing. After throwing the fireworks, the person fled south on Union Square West on a bicycle.

A 27-year-old resident of 310 First Avenue reported on Monday at 4 p.m. that her identity had been stolen. She told police that she got an email from her credit card company stating that there was unusual activity on her card, regarding charges at Home Depot and Walgreens, totaling $750.77. The victim said that she didn’t authorize those transactions and she was still in possession of the card. All the charges were made in New Jersey beginning on Saturday, May 24.

A 27-year-old woman reported that her car was damaged while she was driving at the northeast corner of Park Avenue South and East 18th Street. She told police that she was driving north on Park Avenue South when a man on a bike started punching her mirror. The man then broke the mirror and fled.

Police arrested 29-year-old Sidney Aime for criminal obstruction of breath at the Union Square subway station last Sunday at 2:30 a.m. The victim told police that she was arguing with Aime on the L platform in the station and Aime then allegedly choked her, cutting off her breathing. She didn’t sustain any injuries from the incident.

A man reported that he was the victim of fraudulent accosting last Thursday at 5:20 p.m. at the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and West 25th Street. He told police that he found an ad on Craigslist to purchase Rangers tickets for the game on May 29.
He got in touch with the person in the ad via text message. The victim made arrangements to meet the man at the corner of West 25th Street and Lexington Avenue and the man gave him two tickets through the victim’s car window and the victim paid $650 in cash. The man told him during the transaction that he worked at the NBA store in Manhattan. When the victim attempted to enter Madison Square Garden with the tickets, he found that they were counterfeit.

A 79-year-old woman reported that she was harassed last Friday at 12:30 p.m. in front of 204 East 23rd Street. She told police that a 61-year-old man hit her in the arm after a minor argument. She said that the incident shook her up and she fears for her safety, and told police that the man involved is her neighbor.

A delivery person for the Four Seasons Cafe told police that money and food was stolen from him inside 61 West 23rd Street last Friday at 3:20 p.m. He told police that he went to the lobby to deliver food. An unknown person accepted the food order and also had the delivery person give him $76 and said that he needed the money and would return with change. The man then went upstairs to an unknown floor and never returned with the food or money.

A 21-year-old woman reported that her phone was stolen while she was working in the Ann Taylor at 149 Fifth Avenue last Friday. She told police that she was in possession of the phone when she went in around 2 p.m. and she left the phone in her purse in the employee offices. She returned to work and when she went to retrieve the phone around 3 p.m., her phone wasn’t there. No surveillance video was available.

A 38-year-old woman told police that she realized that her bracelet had been stolen from her apartment at 242 East 25th Street last Thursday around 7 p.m. She said that she is in the process of moving and the movers have been in and out of the apartment, as well as real estate agents. She said that she is sure the bracelet was in a box in her bedroom. She also has insurance on the bracelet, which is worth $500.

A 33-year-old man reported that his car was damaged after he parked it in front of 520 East 20th Street last Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. He told police that he returned that evening around 12:30 a.m. and he saw that his car had been hit by another vehicle, causing damage to both passenger’s side doors.


Kessiah White

Kessiah White

The New York City Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in finding the following missing person who resides within the confines of the 13th Precinct. Kessiah White was last seen leaving her residence in the ACS Facility at 492 First Avenue on Wednesday, May 21 at 12:47 a.m. She is a 13-year-old girl, 5’3” and 112 lbs. Anyone with information in regards to this missing person is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at All calls are strictly confidential.

A 16-year-old girl was arrested inside the Good Shepherd Services at 337 East 17th Street last Tuesday at 10:29 p.m. for inciting a riot. The girl intentionally reported a false alarm by pulling the fire alarm box on the fourth floor, causing a condition that endangered the safety of the others in the building. During the same incident, she also intentionally broke two fire extinguisher cabinets on the fourth floor. The fire department responded and the building was evacuated.

Police arrested 30-year-old Yeon Shin for strangulation inside Bellevue at 462 First Avenue last Wednesday at 4:38 p.m. Shin allegedly placed a homeless man in a choke hold for no apparent reason, cutting off blood flow and oxygen and causing the man to lose consciousness. The victim also had a small cut above his left eye.

A 46-year-old woman reported that her car was broken into after she parked it in front of 225 East 26th Street last Monday at 9:30 p.m. She said that she returned the next day at 7 a.m. and found that the driver’s side rear window was broken and her GPS had been stolen from her glove compartment. Blood was also found inside the car.

Police arrested a 17-year-old boy for grand larceny of a Citibike last Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. in front of 541 Sixth Avenue. Police saw the boy showing the bike to his friends and when he approached him, the boy said, “I took it out of the rack around the block.” The bike belonged to the New York City Bike Share program and the officer discovered that the boy did not belong to the program. The bike is valued at $1,200.

Police Watch: Burglar hits Immaculate Conception Church, Former Beth Israel doctor sentenced

Compiled by Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for a burglar who stole $11,000 in cash from the rectory at Immaculate Conception Church. The man entered the church at 414 East 14th Street on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. and then went into a bedroom located on the third floor rectory where he took the money from a nightstand, cops said. He is described as a light skinned man who was wearing a black baseball hat, brown shorts, white sneakers and a red t-shirt. Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at or texting TIP577 and their tips to 274637(CRIMES).

Lawrence Levitan, 58, was sentenced to six months of jail time and 1,000 hours of community service this past Tuesday. The former Beth Israel Medical Center ob-gyn pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the third degree this past February. At trial, he admitted to stealing $268,000 from the hospital by diverting insurance checks and cheating on his taxes.

Police arrested 24-year-old Dequaan Brown for a robbery inside the restaurant Coffee Shop at 29 Union Square West last Saturday at 2 p.m. A 26-year-old man told police that he was meeting Brown to buy a Galaxy 5 phone from him. He originally spoke to someone named Carlos that he found through Craigslist. They had agreed to meet in Union Square for the transaction but Carlos then called the victim at 1:45 p.m. and told him that he wouldn’t be able to make it but that his partner Dequaan would meet him instead. The victim told Carlos that he would wait for Dequaan in the Coffee Shop near the park. A few minutes later, the victim got a text from Brown asking for the location of the restaurant. When he arrived, he asked the victim if he had the money for the phone and after the victim gave him $400 in cash, Brown allegedly said, “I have a gun in my duffel bag. Don’t chase me.” He then walked out of the restaurant calmly and the victim followed him to the train station. They both ended up on a downtown Q train and the victim then asked the conductor to stop the train. The conductor stopped the train at Canal Street and the train doors opened, giving Brown the opportunity to run again. He allegedly attempted to flee but ran into two officers from the First Precinct. The victim told the police, “That’s the guy,” and Brown was arrested and brought back to the 13th Precinct.

A resident of 19 Stuyvesant Oval reported last Monday at 3:38 p.m. that she has been continually harassed by a neighbor in her building. She told police that she received two text messages from him and she was alarmed by the messages because they made no sense and were sexually explicit. She said that she ran into him on the street at East 18th Street and First Avenue. He started talking to her and made no sense, saying that she was yelling when she wasn’t and he told her, “You’re just another Jew.” The victim was alarmed by the incident and said anything else happens, she said that she wants to file an order of protection.

Police arrested 60-year-old Angel Fuentes for menacing inside 40 Waterside Plaza last Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Police responded to the scene and a 55-year-old man told them that Fuentes allegedly came out of his apartment, displaying a kitchen knife and menaced him with it. At that point, the victim called the police and then met them in the lobby. Fuentes wasn’t in his apartment by the time police came but after conducting a canvass, they found him in the front of the building. He was also allegedly in possession of a small bag of marijuana.

Police arrested two men for unlawful surveillance at the Union Square subway station last week. Thirty-seven-year-old Marquis Traynham was arrested last Thursday at 8:55 a.m. Traynham allegedly put an electronic recording device under the skirt of multiple women on a downtown 6 train and the subway stairs while the women were leaving the station. Police arrested 35-year-old Jose Quezada Veloz last Friday at 6:39 p.m. Veloz was seen standing directly under the right side of the stairs leading to the downtown 4/5/6 platform and he was allegedly looking up the skirts of women going up and down the stairs and also had his cell phone in video mode pointed directly under a woman’s skirt with the lens facing up.

A 48-year-old man reported that he was involved in a car accident opposite 400 East 23rd Street last Thursday at 10:05 a.m. He told police that he was driving west on East 23rd Street when a woman in a white sedan struck his car, causing him to hit a parked car. She then fled the scene west and onto First Avenue. There were no injuries and no arrests were made.

A 24-year-old man reported that his motorcycle was stolen after he parked it in front of 655 East 14th Street at midnight last Wednesday. He told police that he parked the bike there and when he went to retrieve it later on Wednesday, the bike was gone. The tow pound had no record of the bike being towed and Stuy Town security said that their cameras don’t face the area where the bike was removed from.

A 13-year-old boy reported that his bag while he was in Stuyvesant Square Park at the northeast corner of Perlman Place and East 15th Street last Friday at 2:45 p.m. He told police that he put his bag on a bench and walked around the park. When he went back to the bench, his bag, which contained his iPhone, Nintendo 3DS, a Pokemon game and school supplies, was gone.

Police arrested 42-year-old Christopher Todd, 39-year-old Anika Reynolds, 33-year-old Eric Gersbeck and another individual for assault in front of 647 East 14th Street last Thursday at 8:34 a.m. The four allegedly got into a fight in front of Stuyvesant Town. All of them sustained minor scratches and refused medical attention at the scene.

A 22-year-old cyclist reported that he was assaulted while he was riding his bike at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and East 15th Street last Thursday at 7 p.m. He told police that he was riding his bike and an unknown person kicked him, causing him to fall off the bike and cause minor bleeding due to a cut on his knee. The person then fled in an unknown direction and no arrests have been made.

A 22-year-old woman reported that her iPhone was stolen while she was in Union Square Park at East 17th Street last Saturday at 5 p.m. She told police that she was working at the farmer’s market and left her cell phone on a table unattended while she went to the bathroom and when she returned, her phone was missing. She said that she tracked the phone and it was located at First Avenue and St. Mark’s Place.

A 44-year-old man reported that he was involved in an accident while he was on his bike in front of 160 West 25th Street last Thursday at 7:30 p.m. He told police that he was riding his bike at the location when a taxi hit his bike from the rear. The victim then fell off his bike and got a bruise on his head and hand, and he also complained of back pain. The taxi fled the scene and a canvass was conducted of the area with negative results. The victim could only remember that it was a taxi that hit him and had no other information.

An 18-year-old woman reported that her phone was stolen while she was inside 330 First Avenue on Saturday, May 17 at 11:59 p.m. She told police that she had left the phone inside the apartment while there for a friend’s party and when she went back to retrieve the phone, it was missing. The phone was tracked through “Find my iPhone” to a location in Brooklyn.

Police arrested 28-year-old Nicholas Kleoudis for criminal possession of a weapon last Saturday at 11:28 p.m. at the First Avenue L station. Kleoudis allegedly had a black metal clip attached to his front right pants pocket and upon further investigation, it was determined to be a gravity knife, police said.

Police arrested 29-year-old Anthony Womack for unlawful possession of marijuana last Saturday at 4:20 p.m. in the Union Square station. Womack was sitting on the steps in the station, blocking passenger movement. When asked, he had no form of identification to give the police and a bag of alleged marijuana was recovered from his left front pants pocket.

A 41-year-old woman reported that she was harassed at the northeast corner of East 15th Street and the FDR on Sunday, May 18 at 4:30 p.m. She told police that someone approached her, pulled her hair and then ran away. When she confronted him, he told her, “We were playing a game.”

13th Precinct sees spike in thefts, burglaries

Police also preparing for upcoming SantaCon pub crawl

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The 13th Precinct saw a 35 percent spike in crime over the last month, mostly in burglaries and grand larcenies. The stats were revealed by Deputy Inspector Dave Ehrenberg at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council on Tuesday. However, Ehrenberg, the precinct’s commanding officer, noted that part of the reason for the increases is because of the comparison to the low numbers last year due to Hurricane Sandy.

The increases in burglaries are mostly due to residential incidents and, noted Ehrenberg, there were no cases of forced entry in the residential burglaries that had occurred.

“They’re getting in through patios, roofs and doors from adjacent buildings,” he said, adding that the crimes are easier to prevent than they are to solve and he reminded residents to lock their doors as well as windows, especially if they lead to a fire escape or balcony.

There has been an increase in grand larcenies as well and an especially large increase in what the NYPD refers to as “picks and dips,” which is when someone is pick-pocketed or their property is left out somewhere and then stolen. Cell phones and wallets are the most commonly stolen items in these cases and Ehrenberg said that it isn’t necessarily the newest model of cell phones that are getting stolen so regardless of how new the phone is, residents should still be vigilant.

Because these crimes are also difficult to solve after the fact, Ehrenberg advised that people be careful with their bags while on the subway and walking down the street.

“The thing about the 13th precinct is that we have a lot of people on our streets and we have to rely on eyewitnesses for solving these crimes,” he said. “A lot of times, crimes like these are reported late because victims don’t notice until later that their property is missing. They say they remember later that they got bumped and maybe their bag wasn’t zipped. If there’s a big gap in the time between when it happened and when it’s reported, it’s hard to figure out who did it.”

The increases in grand larcenies have also been due to victims leaving their property out and having it stolen. Ehrenberg said that there have been three cases in the past month of this happening in the Starbucks on Union Square West, with all items worth more than $1,000.

“It’s like having $1,000 in cash,” he said. “I’m not going to leave that sitting out on the table so why would I leave a laptop out on the table? These items have to be treated like cash.”

Telephone scams, which are recorded as grand larcenies, have also been a problem for the 13th precinct, and Ehrenberg noted that it isn’t just elderly people who are being targeted but that most of the victims have been between the ages of 20 and 40. “Con Edison is not going to ask for cash or a prepaid card and if they come to your door you should always ask to see their identification,” he advised. “If you’re suspicious, call 911 about it.”

Meanwhile, residents at the meeting have already begun expressing concern about the impending arrival of SantaCon, the annual pub crawl that often results in excessive drunkenness in the neighborhood starting in the morning and escalating throughout the day, and which will take place on December 14 this year.

SantaCon revelers gather in front of an East Village bar at last year's event. (Photo by Allegra Kogan)

SantaCon revelers gather in front of an East Village bar at last year’s event. (Photo by Allegra Kogan)

A resident of Stuyvesant Town said that he looked at the website and noticed that there are already 12,000 people who have signed up to participate. Ehrenberg said that police are already planning on increasing their presence on that day and while they try to speak to bar owners and discourage them from participating, he noted that this is difficult since the bars do make money from the event.

“They started earlier than we were expecting last year and last year was ridiculous,” Executive Officer Frank Sorenson added. “Security will be ready earlier this year so we’re more prepared.”

At the beginning of the meeting, Ehrenberg awarded Officer John Dziedzic as Cop of the Month for arresting a man for mugging a 16-year-old deaf boy in October. The boy was on his way to school at PS 347 on East 23rd Street when he was mugged. Ehrenberg said that the officers needed the assistance of two interpreters to communicate with the boy for a description of the man but when they went out with the description, Dziedzic followed him and an arrest was made. He was charged with robbery as well as grand larceny for an incident last year in which he had targeted the same boy.

Last month’s community council meeting was full of residents from buildings on East 28th Street who had complaints about a homeless man who had been causing problems in the neighborhood. As Town & Village reported earlier this month, Ehrenberg said at Tuesday’s meeting that the man, Anthony Lawrence, had been arrested and formally indicted on two high charges, attempted robbery and assault. Ehrenberg noted that his next court date would be November 26 and cops have been working closely with the District Attorney’s office on the issue.