Police Blotter, week of Jan. 23, 2014

Garbage man impersonator arrested

Police arrested a 52-year-old man two days after they say he and an accomplice stole cash from a Tribeca bar while pretending to be city sanitation workers.

The suspect and the other man, who is also believed to be in his 50s or 60s, showed up outside Cricketeer Arms, at 57 Murray St., around 8 a.m. on Jan. 17, before the bar had opened for the day, police said. There was only one employee present at the time, and the two men convinced him that they would write the bar a summons if he did not come outside and clear garbage from the front of the establishment, police said.

While the employee was outside cleaning up, one of the thieves dashed inside and stole $710 from the bar’s cash register, after which they fled the scene. One was later arrested on Jan. 19 based on descriptions provided by the employee. He was charged with burglary.

Police said they believe that the two were also responsible for an almost identical burglary — including their bogus sanitation worker act — that took place on Dec. 30 at Fresh Salt, a bar near the South Street Seaport.

Arrest after senior is bloodied

Police arrested a 24-year-old man on Jan. 15 after he alleged attacked an elderly man in the Financial District.

After an apparent dispute on a sidewalk near the corner of Fulton and William Sts. around 2 p.m., the attacker reportedly punched the 74-year-old man in the face, leaving him with a cut on his nose and causing him to break his ankle as he fell to the ground, police said. The victim was taken to nearby New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital and treated for his injuries.

Upon his arrest shortly afterwards, the suspect told cops that the elderly man had “disrespected” him — and police said they believe that, in this case, the aggressor may be mentally ill. He was charged with assault.

Self-conscious thieves?

Two thieves got away with stealing more than $1,600 worth of tooth whitening products from a convenience store in Battery Park City on Jan. 19, police said.

A man and a woman, both believed to be their 20s, walked into the Duane Reade at 325 North End Ave. around 1:30 p.m., according to the store’s video surveillance footage. The pair quickly snatched up 26 boxes of Crest Whitestrips before dashing back out, police said.

Employees later said they didn’t realize that the crime had occurred until after the tooth whitening tag team had fled the scene.

Gym locker thefts

A slick, lockpicking thief is believed to have to stolen from two different Downtown gyms on the morning of Jan. 16, police said.

First, a man who was working out in Planet Fitness, at 25 Broadway, around 7:30 a.m. told cops that his gym locker had been broken into, and his wallet was gone. Although it was clear that a theft had occurred, his combination lock was apparently still in place when he returned from his workout, and there were no signs of forced entry to the locker.

Then, another man who was working out in Equinox, at 14 Wall St., around 8:30 a.m. told cops an identical story — although he lost much, much more. This time, the lock had again been cleanly picked, and the thief made off with the victim’s laptop and 10 checks that were collectively worth around $10,000, police said.

The great pill heist

Two pill-popping thieves stole more than $1,500 in over-the-counter drugs from a pharmacy next to City Hall on Jan. 8, police said.

An employee of Duane Reade, at 250 Broadway, told cops that the suspects walked in around 8:30 p.m. and headed straight to one of the aisles near the pharmacy counter. They reportedly placed a large plastic bag on the floor and proceeded to load it up with the drugs — 29 bottles of Advil, 21 of Zantac, seven of Prevacid, three of Zegrid and two of Zyquil — before dashing out of the store and fleeing the scene.

The suspects are still at large, and both are described as black males, one at around five-foot-eight and 160 pounds, and the other at around six-foot and 195 pounds, police said.

Bike locks busted

Two unfortunate bicyclists fell victim to a lock-breaking thief who stole their rides on Jan. 12, police said.

A 26-year-old man and 40-year-old woman told cops that they rode over to a gym at 121 Fulton St. around 4 p.m., and locked their bikes up together across the street, chaining them to an overhead scaffold. But when they came back outside around two hours later, the bikes, collectively valued at nearly $4,000, had vanished, along with the lock and chain.

Police canvassed the area in an attempt to find the missing bikes, but their search came up empty.

Subway snatches

Two Downtown subway riders were recently targeted by slick wallet thieves along the No. 2 train line, police said.

One woman, 41, told cops she was coming in from Brooklyn on Jan. 9, around 12:30 p.m., and originally went downstairs to the Court St. R train station before remembering that train is currently not running across the East River. She then exited and instead took the No. 2 from Clark St., but almost immediately after the doors closed at the train pulled away, she realized that her wallet was gone. The woman reported the incident to police after resurfacing in Manhattan and coming out of the Wall St. station.

Then on Jan. 12, another woman, 33, said she was boarding an uptown No. 2 train at Fulton St. when she felt her bag being jostled by an unknown man, who apparently came away with her wallet. Once she realized that the property was gone, she tried confronting the thief as he got onto the train, but he simply ignored her, switched to another car and disappeared, police said.

Bus sleeper

In other mass transit news, another woman was victimized by an opportunistic criminal after she fell asleep on a city bus on Jan. 6, police said.

The woman, 35, told cops she got on a southbound X-28 bus at W. 42nd St. and Broadway around 5:30 p.m., after which she began dozing, eventually waking up around 20 minutes later at the Chambers St. and Broadway stop. Once she came to her senses, she noticed that her $900 Hermes handbag — along with the scarf and cosmetics it contained — was gone. There were no witnesses, police said.

A Lot Less cash

A woman had her pocket picked inside a discount store in the Financial District on Jan. 9, police said.

The victim, 59, said she was shopping in Lot Less at 95 Fulton St. around 1 p.m. when she was bumped into by an unknown woman. Later, when she was about to pull out her credit card to purchase something, the unfortunate shopper realized that her wallet with about $60 was gone — presumably into the hands of the aforementioned bumper.

Fortunately, though, the woman was able to cancel all of her cards before any unauthorized purchases were made.

Nightclub theft

And yet another woeful woman had an unhappy end to her day after leaving her purse unattended in a Soho nightclub early on Jan. 11.

The woman, 30, told cops she was inside S.O.B.’s, at 204 Varick St., around 12:30 a.m. when she decided to hit the dance floor. But she left her bag sitting on a chair for that 20 minutes of action — and when she came back, it had disappeared. There were no witnesses, police said.

—SAM SPOKONY

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3 Responses to Police Blotter, week of Jan. 23, 2014

  1. richard kopperdahl

    I've never seen such reporting! You don't give names or addresses where so-called crimes takes place. There is nothing to indicate that the whole column was not just made up.

    • Thanks for your comment. A more careful reading of this police blotter shows there is in fact an address or location for every single item. We do withhold the names of the suspects and victims in most blotter items for privacy reasons. We published suspects’ names in the past, but found that we were spending a lot of time researching complaints from people who wanted their names removed because the charges against them were subsequently dropped. Google and other search engines can haunt someone for the rest of their lives. In almost every arrest reported in the blotter, the defendant is unknown to just about every reader. The news value is in the crime, not the criminal.

      Josh Rogers
      Editor

    • Josh Rogers, Editor

      Thanks for your comment. A more careful reading of this police blotter shows there is in fact an address or location for every single item. We do withhold the names of the suspects and victims in most blotter items for privacy reasons. We published suspects' names in the past, but found that we were spending a lot of time researching complaints from people who wanted their names removed because the charges against them were subsequently dropped. Google and other search engines can haunt someone for the rest of their lives. In almost every arrest reported in the blotter, the defendant is unknown to just about every reader. The news value is in the crime, not the criminal.

      Josh Rogers
      Editor

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