Police Blotter, Week of Feb. 13, 2014

Another ‘Green Dot’ scam
Police are investigating yet another scam involving theft of money through a prepaid debit card, after a con artist reportedly targeted a Tribeca business on Feb. 5.

An employee for Art Et Maison, a furniture outlet at 31 N. Moore St., told cops she received a call that day from someone claiming to be a Con Edison worker, who then threatened to turn off the store’s electricity if she didn’t pay $1,209 immediately. She apparently followed the scammer’s bogus instructions to go out and purchase a Green Dot card, put the money onto the card’s online account and then give him the card’s authorization code, allowing the suspect to transfer the money into his own account.

After realizing she’d been had, the employee reported the incident to police on Feb. 10, and First Precinct Captain Brendan Timoney said his officers are currently trying to track down the perp.

Camera swiped from cab
An unfortunate photographer learned on Feb. 4 that the old saying still applies — no good deed goes unpunished.

The 45-year-old man told cops he hailed a taxi around 2 p.m. that day and took his aunt to New York Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital, at 170 William St., after which he told the cabbie to wait outside for his return, according to police. But when he came back outside about 10 minutes later, the man realized that his $4,000 Nikon camera, which he’d left in the taxi’s back seat, was gone.

The cab driver told cops he never saw anyone snatch the camera, but admitted that one of the back windows had been left open while he was waiting outside.

School library thief
A opportunistic thief targeted a Borough of Manhattan Community College student as she dozed in the library on Feb. 6, police said.

The female student, 27, told cops she fell asleep in the B.M.C.C. Library at 199 Chambers St. around 1:15 p.m. — and when she woke around a half hour later, she realized her backpack, which she’d placed beside her, was gone. The stolen bag also held the woman’s credit cards, student ID and cell phone, according to the report she filed.

Cops said they’re still trying to get a picture of the suspect through video surveillance footage from inside the library.

Tourist trap
A Chinese tourist fell victim to a thief as she walked past a busy Soho intersection on Feb. 9, police said.

The woman, 36, said she was at the corner of Spring St. and Broadway around 6 p.m., wearing a backpack which contained her wallet, when she felt someone bump into her from behind. Minutes later, after taking the backpack off, she found that one of its pockets had been unzipped, and the wallet — which held credit cards, $700 in cash and her passport — was gone.

Boyfriend stabbed in FiDi
Police arrested a 28-year-old woman on Feb. 1 after they say she stabbed her boyfriend in their Financial District home.

The boyfriend, 45, told cops he and his girlfriend were in their 10 Hanover Sq. apartment when they got into a heated verbal dispute around 4 a.m. Police say the fight became physical when she grabbed a pair of kitchen shears and slashed him on the shoulder and chest. Fortunately for the victim, the blows were only glancing, and he was left with minor cuts that were treated at the scene by paramedics, police said.

The woman was charged with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Valentine shoplifter
Police arrested a 23-year-old man, on Feb. 2, charging him with shoplifting from Century 21 department store.

The suspect may have had Valentine’s Day in mind when he entered the store at 22 Cortlandt St., around 7 p.m., because he tried walking out with four scarves, a box of chocolates and a bottle of cologne, according to police. He tripped off the store’s electronic security scanners while exiting, and was apprehended shortly afterward.

He was charged with petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

Gone in a flash
A Soho photographer was targeted by opportunistic thieves on Feb. 2, when $12,000 worth of equipment was stolen outside her apartment building, police said.

The woman, 41, told cops she was loading the items into the vestibule of the 15 Greene St. building around 2:15 p.m., when she saw a group of people walking down the street. Moments after the group had passed by, she realized that her Canon 5D Mark II camera, two lenses, a laptop, a tripod and other equipment were gone.

The victim said she never got a good look at the group as they were walking by, and didn’t see any of the thefts taking place.

Car break-in
Someone broke into and stole property from a parked car near City Hall on Feb. 3, police said.

The car’s owner, a 32-year-old man, told cops he parked it near the corner of Beekman and William Sts. around 9 p.m. It was unclear based on the report, but the man may have forgotten to lock his doors, because when he returned around 11 p.m., the vehicle was unlocked, and his iPod and a pair of sunglasses had been snatched.

Construction site brawl
A fight reportedly broke out between two construction workers at a Financial District development site on Feb. 4, police said.

A 58-year-old employee who was overseeing work at 29 John St. told cops that another man — unidentified, but apparently a construction worker from another Downtown site — walked up and started an argument with him around 2:30 p.m. The dispute quickly escalated, and the unknown worker reportedly punched the John St. employee in the face before fleeing the scene on foot.

The victim suffered a cut near his right eye, but was not hospitalized, police said.

Sam Spokony

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