Police Blotter, week of April 3, 2014

Cell thief says let’s make a deal

How’s this for a deal? The guy who stole your cell phone says he’ll happily return it — as long as you pay him.

Police are now searching for the man they say tried to do just that after swiping an iPhone 5 that was mistakenly left inside a Financial District restaurant on March 31.

The rightful owner, a 24-year-old man, told cops that he left the phone — along with an accompanying case that also held his debit card — behind after eating dinner in the Chipotle at 100 Maiden Ln. around 7 p.m. When he realized later than night that it was gone, the forgetful man quickly cancelled the card and began tracking his phone using a security app.

He told cops he was able to track the missing phone to Bainbridge Ave. in the Bronx, after which he also learned that a quick charge had already been made to his debit card, at a McDonald’s also located in the Bronx.

The man said he then called his phone in hopes of locating it — and was surprisingly greeted by a man, identifying himself as Jay, who offered to sell the phone back to him. Jay reportedly went on to say that he would meet with him soon to make the deal, and provided his own personal cell number, which the phone’s rightful owner promptly turned over to the police in hopes of tracking the thief down.

Police said they were still investigating the matter as of April 1, using those details provided by the victim.

 

Tough crowd

One bad joke was all it took for a 34-year-old man to suffer a crushed eye socket, after he was punched out inside a Financial District bar early on March 29.

The victim told cops he was having drinks with a friend inside Killarney Rose, at 127 Pearl St., around 1 a.m., when a male friend of his friend — someone not previously known to the victim — showed up and decided to hang out. During the resulting conversation, the victim and his friend made a wisecrack at the third man’s expense, to which he responded by socking the victim hard in the right eye, leaving him bruised and bloodied.

The victim was quickly hospitalized and it was later learned that he will require surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone, cops said. Based on the police report, it was unclear how the aggressor left the scene, but he was not arrested and has yet to be identified, although cops said an investigation is ongoing.

 

Urban lessons

Less than two months after its grand opening, a trendy Financial District fashion outlet has already been victimized by shoplifters — four of them made off with over $4,000 worth of merchandise on March 28, police said.

An employee for Urban Outfitters at 182 Broadway, which opened in February, told cops that the four male suspects — two of whom were reportedly wearing ski masks — entered the store around 11 a.m. and made their way downstairs to the pants section, where no security was present at the time. The men then swiped 15 pairs of pricey jeans, stuffed them into bags, and waltzed back out of the store without setting off any alarms or catching the eyes of store security, police said.

Although they didn’t stop the theft, store security later informed cops that the four shoplifters were aided by a woman sitting across the street in a McDonald’s, who was scoping out the store and acting as a lookout, according to a police source.

 

Sentimental Rolex stolen 

An unfortunate woman lost a pricey — and priceless — watch that was a gift from her parents, after mistakenly leaving it inside a Financial District gym, police said.

The woman, 25, who is also a FiDi resident, told cops she was working out inside the Equinox Gym, at 14 Wall St., around 7:30 p.m. when she placed the silver Rolex inside a cup holder. After finishing up and walking out, she left the $6,500 watch behind, and didn’t realize it was gone until after she’d gotten home. She returned to the gym an hour later to try and recover it, but by then it was gone.

The watch was particularly special, the woman said, because of its engraving: “Love, Mom and Dad.”

 

Inside job at B.M.C.C.

A student at the Borough of Manhattan Community College was a targeted by a wallet thief on March 20 — and it was one of her own classmates, police said.

The female student, 23, told cops she was in a 4 p.m. class at B.M.C.C.’s 199 Chambers St. building when she felt something going through her back pocket, but explained that she assumed it was just her bag rubbing against her. When she left the class at 4:50 p.m., she realized that her wallet was gone, with no witnesses to the crime.

There was an unauthorized purchase of $13 made on the debit card, police said, but both the wallet and card were later recovered by a B.M.C.C. security guard at the college’s 70 Murray St. building, after the thief had apparently had enough.

 

— SAM SPOKONY

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