Police Blotter, Week of May 9, 2012

Chinatown scams

Fifth Precinct detectives are looking for two or three women who have been victimizing elderly Asian women in Chinatown by offering to remove evil spirits and bad luck from their jewelry and money and stealing it from them.

Two scammers, described only as Asian women, approached their latest victim, 62, at Doyers Street and the Bowery at noon on April 30 and told her she had an evil spirit and needed her jewelry to be blessed.

They approached an 85-year-old victim at 9 a.m. April 25 in front of 193 Eldridge St. and fled with her jewelry.

At 11 a.m. on April 18, they fled with the jewelry that they offered to bless for a 63-year-victim at an unidentified Chinatown location.

Three suspects, described as Asian women in their 40s, approached a victim, 63, at Orchard and East Houston Streets at 10 a.m.  April 14, told her they needed to perform a ritual for her and demanded her jewelry and cash.  They also told an 81-year-old victim at 9:15 a.m. on April 4 that they needed her property to remove bad luck from it and at 9:30a.m. On March 29 they asked another victim, whose age was not disclosed, for her property in order to remove evil spirits.

Anyone with information on the suspects should phone the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800:577-TIPS or online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.comon by texting 274637 (CRIMES) and entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.


The hunt for a Chinatown burglar

Police are looking for a suspect who stole two laptops, an iPad and an iPhone on March 30 from an office on the fifth floor of 59 E. Broadway. The suspect, whose image was caught on surveillance tape, also entered an office on the sixth floor of 98 E. Broadway at 11:50 p.m., March 28 but fled empty-handed when an alarm went off.

The same suspect entered a Baxter Street building on the afternoon of April 19, made his way to a fifth floor apartment and fled with a 32-inch flat screen television through the lobby of the building and out the front door. He was described as being in his late 20s with short black hair, 5’9” and 195 pounds, last seen wearing a white Yankee jersey, blue jeans and a black backpack with orange stripes.


D.A. dismisses grope charges

The Manhattan District Attorney’s offices on Monday dismissed charges against Karl Vanderwoude, arrested April 14 and charged with groping four women in Lower Manhattan, the Village and the Upper East Side over the previous two months.

“The defendant is not the person who committed these acts,” Assistant District Attorney Kevin Rooney told Judge Erica Edwards.

Investigators for the D.A. discovered that Vanderwoude had valid alibis for when the incidents occurred at the Chambers Street subway station on March 30, at King and Varick Streets on Feb. 26, on Second Avenue near East 67th Street on Feb. 27, and on East 62nd Street near Park Avenue on Feb. 26. Witnesses misidentified Vanderwoude in a line-up.

A Dutch native who works for a financial firm, Vanderwoude, conducts Bible study in his Park Slope apartment.

“I still love New York,” Vanderwoude told reporters.


Rape and pot

Ramon Fernandez, 43, was charged with getting a 14-year-old girl drunk around 8:30 p.m. Sat., April 26 and sexually attacking her in the Baruch Houses building where he lives, police said. The suspect was arrested a few hours later in his apartment where he was in possession of an undisclosed quantity of marijuana.

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