Police Blotter, Week of March 27, 2014

Tribeca burglaries
Two Tribeca restaurants were recently hit with overnight burglaries, police said.

The first took place at Little Italy Pizza, 11 Park Place, sometime between the evening of March 21 and the morning of March 22, according to the business owner. The burglar clipped the restaurant’s front gate and then broke in through the front door, making off with a $1,500 Dell laptop computer and $300 in cash from the register, police said.

Video surveillance footage showed the burglar to be a white Hispanic male, around 5-foot-11, according to report, but police canvasses have so far come up negative.

The next incident took place inside Los Americanos, at 305 Church St., sometime between the evening of March 23 and the morning of March 24, police said. An employee told cops that when he walked in that morning he noticed that the door to the restaurant’s basement office was already open, and he then realized that the business’ safe — containing $4,000 in cash — had been stolen. Three business-related documents were also missing, according to the employee.

Upon investigating, cops saw that whoever burgled the goods had covered their tracks by placing a piece of clothing over the basement office’s security camera, leaving investigators with no video footage of the crime. There were no signs of forced entry to either the basement door or the restaurant’s main door, so it looked as though someone had picked the locks, police said.

Another Tribeca burglary took place in a drug store early on March 16 — but there were no questions about how the thief got inside for that one, according to police. Video footage taken from the Prime Essentials drug store, at 345 Broadway, showed a man using a piece of metal pipe to smash the bottom of the shop’s glass front door around 1:30 a.m., police said. The burglar then kicked out the rest of the lower portion of the glass and crawled inside, after which he jumped over a counter and hit three cash registers, according to the footage.

The perp made off with a total of $540 before fleeing the scene and running north on Broadway, and he has still not been identified although an investigation is ongoing, police said.

Car break-in
A brazen thief stole a laptop by breaking into a car parked near City Hall on March 19, police said.

The victim, 37, told cops he parked his 2012 Mercedes Benz on Barclay St., between Broadway and Church St., around 6:30 p.m. When he returned an hour later, he saw that his rear driver’s side window was smashed out, and the MacBook Air he’d left on the back seat was gone. There were no witnesses, police said.

Thieves take the A train
Sometimes, it only takes one subway stop for a thief to strike — and that’s what one woman learned after her wallet was snatched during a short trip on the A train on March 24.

The woman, 33, told cops that she boarded the southbound train at Chambers St. around 6:30 p.m., and noticed along ride that someone was touching her handbag. When she got off at Fulton St. and walked out of the station, she then realized that her bag had in fact been unzipped, and the wallet — containing her debit and credit cards and her driver’s license — was gone.

And prior to that more recent theft, riders were also targeted by sneaky thieves while taking the A train past the Canal St. station — but one of the suspects was caught and arrested, police said.

One incident was on March 7, which took place after a woman initially got on a northbound train at Jay St. in Brooklyn, heading back to her home in Harlem. She told cops that she’d sat down and placed her purse on her lap — and once the train reached Canal St., she felt a tug on the bag, although she never actually saw anyone rifle through it.

It was only when she exited the train at W. 145th St. that she realized that her wallet — containing her debit card, her daughter’s Social Security card, her work payroll check for $871 and another $20 in cash — was gone. The woman told cops that she later learned from her employer that the payroll check was cashed by an unauthorized person on March 17.

The next incident took place on March 12, when another woman got on a southbound A train at W. 42nd St., police said. During the ride, she was holding her cell phone and texting — and as the train pulled into Canal St. and the doors opened, a 17-year-old male reportedly snatched the phone, dashed out and jumped onto an E train that had just arrived across the platform, police said.

But the victim, aided by two bystanders — a young man and woman — chased the teen onto the other train, where they were able to corner him and alert transit employees of the crime. Moments later, the incident was reported to police, and the suspect was apprehended at the next stop. He was charged with grand larceny.

Gym locker theft
A woman lost her pricey purse to a sneaky thief after leaving her open gym locker unattended at a Financial District gym on March 19, police said.

The victim, 26, told cops she finished her workout at Equinox, located at 14 Wall St., around 6:15 p.m., after which she returned to the locker room. After opening the locker, which contained the $1,500 leather purse, she went to the bathroom — but left the belongings unlocked. When she came back minutes later, the purse — containing her iPad, Blackberry, debit card, Louis Vuitton makeup bag and various makeup items — was gone, with no sign of the thief.

Jewel burglar
A burglar hit a Tribeca jewelry store overnight between March 13 and 14 and made off with nearly $20,000 worth of merchandise — and it may have been due to a faulty door, police said.

The owner of Cass Lilien jewelry, at 24 Harrison St., discovered the crime after opening up the store — which sits below three stories of residential units — around noon on March 14. Nine items — including a $15,000 bangle, necklaces and other pieces — were gone, she told cops. The woman also said that both her store’s front door and the door to the rest of the building were locked when she arrived, and police who responded to the scene said there were no signs of forced entry.

But during the investigation, residents of the building told police that the building’s main door “doesn’t always close properly.”

Cops said they dusted for fingerprints at the scene but couldn’t make any identification, and no video is available from the store itself, although they may be able  to use footage from a camera located outside a building across the street.

Unattended bag woes
One woman had to learn the hard way about the dangers of leaving property unattended, after her wallet was reportedly stolen from a Financial District bar on March 15.

The victim, 24, told cops that she was was having a drink inside Ulysses’, at 59 Pearl St., around 4 p.m., and had placed her handbag on top of the bar. She later got up to use the bathroom, but left the bag behind, and when she returned minutes later, she found that the wallet — containing her debit and credit cards and Social Security card, among other items — had been snatched up. There were no witnesses, and no descriptions of a suspect, police said.

—Sam Spokony

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2 Responses to Police Blotter, Week of March 27, 2014

  1. Burglaries attempts are really more are more frequent nowadays. Now we have the chance to take the initiative for replacing old styled easy to open locks which can be opened with a safety pin to high security locks and surveillance systems.

  2. One lady needed to take in the hard route about the dangers of leaving property unattended, after her wallet was allegedly stolen from a Financial District bar on March 15.

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