Police Blotter, Week of May 8, 2014

Subway sleeper snatch
A thief claiming to be homeless targeted a sleeping passenger aboard a Downtown subway train on May 2, police said.

The victim, 26, told cops he boarded the southbound 1 train at the W. 116th St./Columbia University stop around 2:30 a.m. Friday morning, and then fell asleep minutes later with his backpack sitting on the floor between his legs. According to two female witnesses who boarded the same train at Penn Station, and were sitting within sight of the victim, the thief later entered their section of the train after it had passed the Christopher St. stop.

The male suspect was asking the passengers for cash, and told them he was homeless and hadn’t eaten for three days, according to the witnesses’ statements to police. The suspect then reportedly walked up to the sleeping victim and tapped him on the shoulder, asking him, “Are you awake?” When it was clear that he wasn’t, the suspect then snatched the victim’s backpack — which contained a Lenovo laptop computer, an external hard drive, the victim’s checkbook and several articles of clothing — and then fled off the train after it pulled into the Houston St. stop.

The two witnesses, who watched the whole thing take place, then exited along with the victim at the next stop, at Franklin St., to report the incident to police. A canvass was conducted, but the thief wasn’t found, cops said.

Purses purloined
A woman’s purse was stolen from right under her nose while she was eating at a Financial District pub on May 1, police said.

The woman, 27, told cops that she was having a bite inside the Ulysses Folk House, at 95 Pearl St., around 8:30 p.m., and had put the bag down by her table. After a while, when she looked down, she realized that the purse — which contained a debit card and two credit cards, her $200 Michael Kors sunglasses and her house and car keys — was gone.

Before the woman could cancel her debit and credit cards, the thief — who was not spotted by the victim or any witnesses — made a total of $290 in unauthorized purchases on the cards, police said.

And then on May 2, another unfortunate woman had her purse stolen from a Tribeca restaurant, after she left it sitting unattended on her seat while in the bathroom, police said.

The woman, 32, told cops she was eating inside Sazon, at 105 Reade St., around 5 p.m., when she got up to use the bathroom. When she returned minutes later, the purse — which contained a debit card and credit card, her driver’s license and $40 in cash — was gone. Fortunately, the woman was able to cancel her cards before any unauthorized purchases were made. But there were no witnesses, and no description of the thief.

An inside job?
Someone stole $3,700 worth of equipment from a Tribeca construction site on April 25, police said.

A manager from On the Level Enterprises, the company currently doing interior renovations on the 34 Laight St. residential building, told cops that, at some point during that day, a toolbox in the building’s basement was unlocked without permission. The equipment stolen from the Laight St. building included a nail gun, two circular saws and a laser range meter, according to police.

The construction manager told cops that numerous employees have the key to that box and could’ve accessed it, but he suspects a former employee who he thinks still has one of those keys, according to police. Cops said an investigation is ongoing.

Camera swiped
A German tourist was targeted by a slick thief during her photography journey through Soho on April 28, police said.

The female tourist, 22, who was at that time staying in Brooklyn, told cops she was walking through the neighborhood all day with her camera, snapping shots and taking in the scenes. She finished the escapade around 5 p.m., and put the camera — a Canon 5D Mark II, which she valued at $1,500 — in her backpack.

But when she got to the corner of W. Broadway and Broome St. minutes later, and reached back into her bag to grab her phone, the tourist realized that the backpack was already open, and that her camera was gone. She later told cops that she’d been bumped near that corner, shortly before realizing the theft, but didn’t think twice about it because the street was so crowded.

—Sam Spokony

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