Volume 20 Issue 20 | Sept. 28 - Oct. 04, 2007

Police Blotter

Prostitution arrests
Police arrested two men and two women on Tues., Sept. 18 in a prostitution raid at 39 Eldridge St. The two men, Benjie Zheng, 47, and Ming Lin-Chang, 48, were charged with promoting prostitution. Zheng was free on $3,500 bail and Lin-Chang was free on $2,500 bail pending a Jan. 10 court date. The two women, Diana Laura, 23, and Mia Hernandez, 25, were free on their own recognizance pending an Oct. 2 court date.

Zheng told an undercover officer that he could have the services of one of the two women in the place for $35, according to the charges. The officer gave Zhang $40, received $5 change and took one of the women to an alcove behind a curtain. The undercover then radioed for backup officers, who arrested Zheng, the two women and Lin-Chang, who ran out of an office when the backup arrived.

Subway robbery
Police arrested Patrick Joseph, 22, on Tues., Sept 18, after he tried to buy a MetroCard with a credit card stolen on Monday night from a woman in the mezzanine of the East Broadway F train station. Police charged that Joseph pushed the 25-year-old woman down the stairs, grabbed her bag and fled. The victim was taken to the hospital with a concussion.

Joseph, of Brooklyn, has a record of seven arrests for subway-related crime, the latest a June 25, 2007 conviction, police said. He was being held pending a notice of grand jury action. One resident, Rima Finzi-Strauss, said police maintained a 24-hour presence in the area in order to catch the suspect. [See related Letter to The Editor, page 12.]

Money grabber
A woman shopping on Canal St. at Broadway on Sunday evening Sept. 16 was taking a $100 bill out of her bag when a man rushed past, snatched the money and fled, police said. The victim alerted a police officer who apprehended Derrick Miller, 45, and charged him with grand larceny and possession of stolen property. Miller was free on $3,500 bail pending a Jan. 2 trial date.

Clerk bitten
A woman who was trying to leave a shop at Mott and Pell Sts. with two toy cars under her jacket at 5:10 p.m. Sun., Sept. 16, bit the ear of a woman employee who tried to stop her, police said. Renee Lyles, 45, was arrested after a customer called 911 and was charged with assault, second-degree robbery and possession of stolen property. The employee was treated for the ear bite at New York Downtown Hospital.

Officer bitten
A police officer escorting a drunken man away from the corner of Battery Pl. and West St. at 11:50 p.m. Sat., Sept. 22 was confronted by a woman who tried to stop him, police said. The woman, Loretta Leondis, 47, struggled with the officer and bit him on the left arm, police said. She was charged with obstructing government function and assaulting a police officer.

Credit card theft
A cashier at Century 21 department store on Church St. was arrested shortly after 3 p.m. Mon., Sept. 17 for stealing a customer’s credit card, police said. The defendant, Antoinette Sylvester, took the card without the victim realizing what happened and slipped it into her apron, according to the charge. However, a security guard discovered the card and made the arrest. Police said Sylvester at first gave her cousin’s name, then her sister’s name before finally giving her real name to arresting officers. Charged with possession of stolen property and false impersonation, she was paroled pending a Jan. 2 court date.

Car, motorcycle stolen
A resident of Mercer St. told police she parked her 2004 Porsche Cayman on Mercer St. near Howard St. at 7:30 p.m. Wed., Sept 19, and when she went back to it at 8 a.m. the next day she discovered it had been stolen. She valued the car at $50,000.

A New Jersey man, 30, who parked his 2004 Acura motorcycle on Wooster St. between Spring and Prince Sts. at 8:30 p.m. Fri., Sept. 21 found it had been stolen when he returned a few hours later.

Robbed in Tribeca
A man, 43, who lives at 80 N. Moore St. in Independence Plaza, told police he had an argument that turned violent with an acquaintance inside his apartment at 10:30 p.m. Tues., Sept 25. The acquaintance hit him on the wrist and ran off with a Panieri watch valued at $7,000, police said.

Burglar’s haul
A man who left his fourth-floor apartment at 16 Hudson St. at 2 p.m. Mon., Sept. 24 returned at 3:15 p.m., found the front door damaged and a laptop, $1,500 in cash and various antiques and household items with a total value of $70,000 had been stolen, police said. Witnesses told police they had seen a stranger in the building between 2 and 3 p.m.

B.P.C. burglary
A resident of 333 Rector Pl. left his 12th-floor apartment at about 7:45 p.m. Wed., Sept.19 and returned at 6:45 a.m. the following day to find that miscellaneous tools valued at $506 had been stolen, police said. There was no sign of forced entry.

Student bag picked
A female student at Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St., who put her wallet inside her open bag after making a purchase in the college bookstore at 3:30 p.m. Fri., Sept. 21, discovered the wallet was missing a few minutes later after someone bumped her. The victim, 22, lost $100 in cash, various credit cards and her ID.

Playground crook
A man who was playing basketball at the playground on the corner of West and Chambers Sts. on Sunday afternoon Sept. 23 discovered that his wallet, which he had placed at the end of the court with his glasses, hat and keys, was stolen. The victim, 23, had $28 in cash, various credit cards and ID in the wallet, police said.

— Albert Amateau

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