A pair of rookie police officers busted a man in front of their midtown precinct on Monday morning just minutes after he robbed a nearby drugstore, police said.
The officers, 23-year-old Christoph Mallette and 27-year-old Lawrence Russo, were standing outside the Midtown North precinct on West 54th Street when they heard a 911 call for a burglary at the Duane Reade at Columbus Circle.
At the same time, they spotted 30-year-old Michael Booth; they recognized him from the area and he fit the suspect's description.
Mallette and Russo, who both graduated from the academy in July, quickly asked for a more detailed description, which Booth matched -- including the green and gray backpack he was wearing.
The officers caught up with him at the end of the block about 8:40 a.m. and found $296, which Booth had apparently stolen less than 10 minutes earlier from the drugstore's cash register. Booth, who was immediately charged, has more than 20 prior arrests, including for assault, criminal possession of stolen property and indecent exposure, police said.