Police Blotter, Week of Jan. 29, 2014

Police arrest restaurant thief
On Sun., Jan. 25, police say they arrested the thief that has been hitting restaurants in Tribeca and the Financial District — working in the dead of night to steal from registers.

The police’s anti-crime team saw the man break into a Pret a Manger near City Hall.

The 63-year-old got in through the front door at around 3 a.m. while the restaurant at 319 Broadway was closed. Police say he then tried to open a locked cash box to get at the money, but did not succeed. He was then arrested.

The man has been suspected in a rash of break-ins that happened since last December.

On Thurs., Jan. 15, he is suspected of robbing Arome Cafe, at 7 Dey St., at 2:45 a.m. The man shattered the glass front door of the restaurant with an unknown object, went in and grabbed $1,600 from two registers. He then fled east on Dey St. towards Broadway, police say.

At 12:30 a.m. on Sun., Dec. 28, police say he broke into the Asian restaurant Obao, at 38 Water St., by kicking in the glass side entrance and got away with $400 from two registers. On Tues., Jan. 6, he used a fire hydrant cap to break a glass door at Anejo, a restaurant at 301 Church St., at 12:40 a.m. Police say he looked around the restaurant and left empty-handed — seeing nothing that he could grab.

Shoplifter threatens to stab
A shoplifting incident at an Urban Outfitters in the Financial District was taken up a notch when the man who stole a pair of $60 pants brandished a box cutter to get out of the store, police say.

Two employees at the clothing store at 182 Broadway saw the man grab the pants. As he tried to leave, he said, “You better move before I cut you” and showed the box cutter. The employees, one 25 and one 20, told police that the suspect had a “dead right eye” and a tattoo on his neck with a picture of lips.

Grab and Go in Soho
Two men and one woman pulled off a $1,500 jacket heist from Mackage store last Sunday.

An employee told police that the three took the leather jacket and shoved it into a shopping bag at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 25. They then fled from the 123 Mercer St. store, jumped into a 2002 tan Toyota sedan and sped off.

In another incident in Soho at the Celine store at 67 Wooster St., video surveillance shows a man taking a python classic navy purse worth $6,200 at 3 p.m. on Tues., Jan. 20 and then leaving the store.  Police say that the store has motion-detecting cameras but, for some reason, it did not pick up the removal of the purse.

Disney dreams dashed
Three Brazilian tourists were getting drinks at Starbucks at 195 Broadway in the Financial District on Mon., Jan. 19 when the bag that contained $1,800, credit cards and three vouchers for Walt Disney World were stolen, police say.

One of the group, a 29-year-old man went to the counter and left his Calvin Klein brown bag on the table with his two friends. A stranger came up to them and started talking. The two women didn’t understand why the stranger was talking to them and thought that she was trying to start a fight.

While the conservation continued, the stranger took off her coat and put it on the table. When she left, the friends didn’t think to look for the bag — but it was gone.

Subway robber caught
A “lush worker” — one who preys on the sleeping or drunk on the train — was caught after the arresting officer saw the man take an iPhone 6, valued at $869, from a sleeping passenger’s pocket on Fri., Jan. 16, according to police.

The victim, a 24-year-old man who lives in the Bronx, was on the A train when the robbery took place at 3:30 p.m. The suspect got off the train at the Chambers St. station and was apprehended with the phone at the corner of Warren and Church Sts. Police say the suspect, a 32-year-old Queens man, was found with a razor blade on him — a common tool for lush workers, who slice pockets to get what is stored inside.

Cops faster than sneaker thieves
Thieves using fraudulent gift or credit cards have hit the high-end clothing store Balenciaga in Soho for the third time this month — each time for costly sneakers.

Police say that on Wed., Jan. 14, at 12:20 p.m., two teenagers came into the store at 149 Mercer St. and used forged gift cards to buy two pairs of sneakers, worth $1,330. The two men — one 17, one 18 — were caught later that day and arrested. The sneakers were recovered and the teens, both from Brooklyn, were found with several fake gift cards from other stores, such as Zara.

Three days later, on Sat., Jan. 17, a man, 20, used either fake credit cards or gift cards to buy two pairs of sneakers, valued at $665 a pair. Police arrested the Brooklyn man later that day and the sneakers were recovered.

The previous week, on Jan. 10, three people were busted for using fake credit cards at the same store to buy sneakers, which the police also got back.

Thief shops Amazon
A New Jersey woman was enjoying her Chipotle at 2 Broadway in the Financial District, leaving her wallet next her on a chair while she ate on Mon, Jan. 19 at 2:50 p.m. She left and forgot her wallet. When she came back five minutes later, it was gone.

Inside her Prada wallet, worth $500, was $120 in cash, as well as a debit and credit card. The woman, 24, told police there was an unauthorized charge of $57 made to Amazon.

—Dusica Sue Malesevic

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