Police Blotter (Manhattan Express), Week of June 13, 2019

The Upper West Side crime blotter

19th Precinct


What a gas

A Bronx man’s cell phone was stolen while he put air in his car’s tires at a Shell gas station, police said.

On May 24, around 10:20 a.m. the 53-year-old pulled into the station at the southwest corner of First Ave. and E. 96th St. After filling his tires with air, the man re-entered his car to make a call on his $1,149 iPhone 10, but couldn’t find it.

According to police, the man asked the manager to review the gas station’s security footage to see if anyone had grabbed the phone out of the car while he filled the tires.

Footage, indeed, showed a man swiping the pricey phone along with $8 cash from the car through a window the driver had left open.


Rotten ‘Apple’

Another Upper East Sider recently fell victim to a phone scam, according to police.

On May 25, a 63-year-old woman received a call from “Apple” offering free security software.

The victim was told that for “Apple” to install the software, she had to purchase two $2,000 gift cards. She quickly did so after the caller said the money would be refunded.

The woman eventually realized she had been duped, and notified police on May 31.


Gym robbery

A guy working out at the New York Sports Club at 502 Park Ave., at E. 59th St., had his belongings stolen, police said.

On May 24, the 30-year-old placed his wallet in one of the gym’s lockers and secured it with a lock before working out.

After leaving the gym, he checked his wallet and noticed a few things missing, including $80 cash and a U.S. Bank credit card. He quickly learned that the card had been used for purchases at nearby stores.

According to cops, the lock on the locker showed no signs of being tampered with and the victim did not remember anyone asking him questions about the lock before he went to exercise.


Bike-by grab

A man had nearly $7,000 worth of his stuff stolen after his gym bag was snatched at a bus stop.

According to police, on June 3, at 10:02 a.m., a 34-year-old man was waiting at a bus stop at the northeast corner of Second Ave. and E. 79th St. when a man on a blue bike rode by and took his gym bag, which he had set on the ground beside him.

The bag had a $600 black Lenovo ThinkPad laptop,a $6,000 Mikimoto white pearl necklace, a $150 pair of blue jeans, a $120 pair of brown shoes, a $50 button-down shirt and a black nylon IWC Pilot watch strap.


Rain pain

 Police arrested a man after he punched a person in the face for getting too close to him, according to a report.

On May 29, at 6:42 p.m., a 27-year-old man stood underneath scaffolding at the southwest corner of Madison Ave. and E. 83rd St. to escape a rain shower.

But a 37-year-old man, who was underneath the scaffolding for the exact same reason, began shouting that the other guy was getting too close to him.

According to police, the younger man said he did not move toward the man once underneath the scaffolding. But the 37-year-old then punched the 27-year-old in the face, leaving him bruised, and walked away shortly before police arrived at the scene.


20th Precinct


Scanner stolen

A FreshDirect truck driver had his scanner stolen while he was on his lunch break, according to cops.

On Fri., May 24, at 12:25 p.m., the driver parked at the northwest corner of Columbus Ave. and W. 69th St.

He set his scanner on the ground and returned to the truck to grab his lunch. When he went back to pick up the $1,500 scanner, it was gone.

Police say they want to question this guy about public lewdness in the subway system. (Courtesy N.Y.P.D.)

66th St. sleaze

Police said that on Sun., April 28, around 3:45 p.m., a 64-year-old woman was on the platform at the 66th St./Broadway subway station, when she noticed a man rubbing his private area in public view. The guy then fled in an unknown direction.

The person wanted for questioning is described as a male with a shaved head, 50 to 60 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds, last seen wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and white sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted on the CrimeStoppers Web site at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.


 Wallet nabbed

An elderly woman had her wallet stolen while shopping at Trader Joe’s, police said.

On May 22, at 12:23 p.m., the 81-year-old left her purse unattended in her cart for “just a few minutes” while she shopped at the popular chain grocery store at 2073 Broadway, at W. 72nd St.

The woman realized her wallet had been stolen at the cash register when she searched inside her purse and could not find it.

The $100 Woren leather wallet had an American Express Platinum card, a Chase Visa card, a senior citizen bus pass, a Medicare card, an AARP United Health card, a New York State driver’s license, $100 in cash and an Allied Board of Trade card.


Bad Apples

Police are looking for two 25-year-olds wanted for stealing electronics from the Apple Store at 1981 Broadway, at W. 67th St.

On May 24, at 7:02 p.m., the two young men reportedly starting taking merchandise off the shelves and placing it into a backpack.

According to police, the pair took four Apple Magic Trackpad 2s worth $596, two Apple Magic Trackpad 2s worth $258 and two Apple Magic Mouses worth $158.


Fake card

Police arrested a young man for trying to purchase $341 worth of items from a Century 21 at 1972 Broadway, at 66th St., with a fake card.

According to a report, on May 26, at 6:02 p.m., the 20-year-old tried to buy three Polo shirts worth a total of $74, two Polo shirts worth a total of $49, a pair of Adidas tennis shoes worth $9, a $9 Polo shirt and a $200 gift card using a fake Chase Mastercard.

Police arrested the thief shortly after he attempted to make his purchase.

The card was linked to a C21STATUS credit card account, and a trespass notice reportedly had been signed by the defendant on Dec. 17, 2017.


Bag trap

An unlucky woman was arrested after police caught her stealing out of a purse that had been planted at the Trader Joe’s at 2073 Broadway, at W. 72nd St., as part of Operation Lucky Bag.

The much-debated ruse, in which officers plant property to trap a passerby into an arrest, was used at the grocery store on May 24.

According to police, at 12:23 p.m. the woman walked around the grocery store without making a purchase, then picked the wallet out of the unattended purse, removed the $40 of cash from it, and discarded the wallet.

Police then arrested her once she exited the place. In addition to finding the cash on her, officers also found an expired MetroCard that had been altered to give unlimited swipes.


Rolex removed

A man had his pricey watch stolen while working out at the gym.

On May 23, at 11:20 a.m., the 36-year-old victim stored his $12,000 Rolex in a locker before working out at the Equinox gym at 160 Columbus Ave., at W. 67th St.

When he returned to the locker, the watch was gone.


Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech