Police Blotter, Week of Oct. 23, 2013
Criminal Possession of Stolen Property: Savvy Victim Snares Thief
A bicycle thief who pinched the wheels of an Upper East Sider met his match in Chelsea — when the perp came face to face with his victim (and, much to his surprise, an officer from the 10th Precinct). The deal went down in front of 355 Eighth Ave., on the night of Mon., Oct. 14. A week prior to that, the victim discovered that his bike had been stolen from outside his residence in the East 80s. But the 44-year-old biped, suddenly bereft of his pedals, wasn’t born yesterday. Playing a hunch that the thief might be using Craigslist, the cybersavvy sleuth found a bike identical to his, up for sale on the site. Posing as a prospective buyer, he arranged to meet the shady seller. When the victim was able to identify his bike by pointing out its telltale ripped seat, the 47-year-old thief was placed under arrest. Reunited with his ride, one assumes the clever citizen put on his helmet and made his way home via the bike lane.
Criminal Mischief: Window into crime
Sure, the area had improved by leaps and bounds — but picking up passengers in Times Square is still a gamble. The driver of a luxury charter coach en route to Atlantic City didn’t exactly hit the jackpot, when he got into an argument with a would-be rider at 10pm on Fri., Oct. 11. As the bus was parked on the southwest corner of 9th Ave. & W. 41st St., the coachman got into a dispute with a passenger, over payment for the ride. The verbal disagreement escalated, until the rider turned into a runner (after breaking the vehicle’s front window and fleeing into the night).
Grand Larceny: Hallway pickup turned purp
Talk about morning-after regrets. A 26-year-old man told police that upon returning from a night of socializing (at 2am on Sat., Oct. 12), he encountered a comely young woman in the hallway of his W. 30’s apartment building. The two struck up a friendly conversation. Soon, the man invited her into his apartment, where they spent the night together. Upon awakening shortly after the crack of noon, he noticed two things: his new friend was gone, and so were some of his belongings. The ill-advised early morning hallway hookup cost the victim his Apple iPhone 5C (valued at $600), an EliteBook laptop (worth $2,000) and a Bank of America MasterCard.
Grand Larceny: Hungry for more
At just before 7pm on Fri., Oct. 11, a 72-year-old West Chelsea resident was shopping at Gristedes (225 9th Ave., btw. 23rd St & 24th Sts.). He was approached by a man, approximately 30 years of age — who said he was hungry, and asked for some money. The man gave him two dollars. A few minutes later, he felt a tug at his back pocket. Turning, the good Samaritan saw the “hungry” man removing money from his wallet. The victim grabbed his wallet, which then fell. The perp, with $120 more of the kind man’s cash in hand, ran from the store. Police canvassed the area, with negative results.
Villainous Behavior, at Comic Con
Some of the 130,000+ proud nerds and passionate gamers attending Oct. 10-12’s New York Comic Con event at the Jacob Javits Center (655 W. 34th St, at 11th Ave.) took their super villain personas a little too seriously. The annual destination event for fans of sci-fi, fantasy and horror — at which it’s perfectly normal to dress as your favorite comic book character — was not immune to the sort of crime found in a geek’s coveted page-turner.
• On the early evening of Thurs., Oct. 10, a 22-year-old woman reported that after several hours spent strolling through the cavernous space, she checked her book bag and noticed her wallet was missing. Multiple fraudulent charges (for pricy action figures?) were made on her Visa credit and debit cards.
• Around an hour later (7pm), a young woman placed her bag on the ground — then picked it up, left and soon realized her communication device (an $400 Apple iPhone 5C whose capabilities put Captain Kirk’s communicator to shame) was gone. Surmising it had fallen out while the bag was on the floor, she returned to the scene. The phone was gone, and nobody handed it in — which makes the 15-year-old a bit wiser when it comes to holding out for a hero.
• On the following day, the Javits Center’s Crystal Palace — a 15-story steel and glass structure — was revealed to be no impenetrable Fortress of Solitude. Actual uniformed officers of the NYPD (not conventioneers dressed in Jean-Claude Van Damme “Timecop” regalia) put the cuffs on a 17-year-old who made his way into a roped off section of the Palace’s registration area. The cheeky changeling slipped on a Comic Con Staff Event T-Shirt. He was caught before he could use his new identity as a trustworthy staff member to unleash a super villain crime spree. The young man faces charges of petty larceny (for theft of the $25 shirt) — and the distinct possibility of a lecture from his mother, followed by banishment to his basement apartment and the temporary loss of his Xbox privileges.