Police Blotter, Week of Feb. 12, 2014
Petty Larceny: The Tao of theft
In a room full of strangers, it only takes one. Upon leaving Tao Downtown (92 Ninth Ave., at 16th St.) in the early morning hours of Sat., Feb. 2, a 25-year-old woman realized that her cell phone (an iPhone 5s valued at $649) was missing from her bag. While having dinner at the popular restaurant (located inside the Maritime Hotel), the victim placed her pocketbook next to her — giving ample opportunity to what she described as an establishment that was “crowded” with “people around her she didn’t know.” At least she knew enough to insure the device, and arm it with a “Find My Phone” app. Unfortunately, the sticky-fingered thief knew enough to turn the phone off, which renders the app useless. Later, when the victim checked her Facebook account, she saw that it had been accessed from a number in the 718 area code. She called the number, and gave police the name, which came up on the user ID.
Burglary: Broken door hammers home vulnerability
He was clearing snow from the sidewalk, when he should have been getting his house in order. In the early evening of Tues., Feb. 4, a thief took advantage of a couple’s open door policy. While one man was upstairs, his partner was shoveling snow — then went back inside, closing the front door (which does not close properly in the cold). An hour or so later, the victim went into the basement and saw an open book, which aroused his suspicions. Upon further investigation, he saw that the entire area had been ransacked. Two items, both useful tools for things such as door repair projects, were taken: a hammer and a drill, both valued at $75.
Petty Larceny: Sad song of Norway
A 21-year-old Norwegian tourist’s ill-advised one-night stand led to $1,050 worth of morning after regrets. At around 3am on Sat., Feb. 1, the victim and his new friend (whom he knew only as “Jasmin”) made their way from a nearby bar back to his room, at Hotel 309 (309 W. 14 St., btw. Eighth Ave. & Hudson St.). When he awoke around 9am, Jasmin was gone — along with a Swatch watch ($250), $300 in cash and an iPhone 5s ($500). The phone was purchased just over 12 months ago…but the scam he fell for was as old as the fjords.
Aggrevated Harrassment: From chatty cabbie to crazy Cupid
A business card given to a cab driver led to an unwanted two-week courtship. In mid-January, a 27-year-old West Chelsea woman took a taxi home. During the ride, she struck up a conversation with the driver. After finding out her occupation, he represented himself as a potential client, and requested a business card. Since then, he contacted her multiple times (though phone calls and text messages), asking to meet up. She repeatedly told him to stop calling, but the romantic overtures continued — culminating in the filing of a criminal complaint.