Police Blotter (Manhattan Express), Week of March 21, 2019

The Upper West Side crime blotter

19th Precinct

5 on 1


An Upper East Side resident was pelted by ice balls after being attacked by a group of young men on the west side of Lexington Ave.

On March 4, around 6 p.m., the 50-year-old victim was on his way home from work when he was grabbed and forcibly turned around by a group of five men. One member of the group then began to punch him in the face. While the victim fought back, the assailant then scooped up ice from off the ground and threw it at him before running of westbound on E. 89th St. toward Park Ave.

The motive of the surprise attack is still unclear.


Sucker-punch plot

A random punch to the back was actually a premeditated set-up to steal a cell phone, according to police.

On March 9 at about 4:32 p.m., a 37-year-old man was using his Samsung Galaxy J6 while walking on the north side of E. 72nd St. when he was suddenly hit on the right shoulder from behind. When he turned around to see who had struck him, he was punched in the face, causing him to drop his cell phone.

The ski mask-wearing assailant then grabbed the Galaxy and sprinted to a getaway car, a sports sedan, and took off.


Van-tastic bust

Police said the caught a man on March 10 who was wanted for multiple truck burglaries.

Around 5:02 p.m., officers pulled over a man driving a van at 1166 Second Ave., near E. 62nd St., after a license-plate reader reported the vehicle as stolen. Officers then discovered that the driver was operating the vehicle with a suspended license and that the 2004 gray Nissan station wagon was wanted in connection with a burglary pattern.

The first burglary occurred Dec. 5, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. The driver of a commercial truck stopped at 353 Lexington Ave., at E. 40th St., to make at delivery but was unable to lock the truck’s back door. Once the driver returned to the parked vehicle, he noticed that a $670 LGTV, a $648 Sony TV and a $500 Samsung TV were missing from it.

The second burglary occurred Feb. 26, around 5:55 p.m. when a woman witnessed someone taking a package from the back of a DHL Express Delivery truck and placing it into his own truck. The package contained $2,295 worth of items inside.


20th Precinct

Church thief

A woman learned it only takes a second to be robbed, even in church.

On Feb. 27, at 11:31 a.m., a visitor at St. Paul the Apostle’s Church, at 8 Columbus Ave., at W. 60th St., knelt at the altar to pray, leaving her purse unattended on the pew behind her. When the 57-year-old worshiper turned around to get up and leave, she noticed her bag missing.

Along with the purse, the thief took off with the victim’s credit cards, Medicare card, keys, Social Security card, New York State driver’s license and some medication.

Police are still searching for the bag-napper. Luckily, a civilian brought the victim’s medication to the police Transit District station after finding it tossed tossed at the 59th St./Columbus Circle subway station.


Sudoku shocker

On March 1, a 62-year-old man from Hamilton Heights worked out at the Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center, at 232 W. 60th St.

Afterward, he headed to the locker room and sat in front of locker No. 98, where he had placed his belongings before exercising. But before opening the locker, he just sat in front the locker room to do some Sudoku puzzles.

After a few minutes of exercising his mind, he opened his locker to discover that he had lost more than his game of Sudoku. Locker No. 98 was unlocked and his cell phone and wallet were missing from inside.

The locker-room thief made off with the victim’s New York state ID, Amex Gold card, Amex EveryDay card, TD Bank card, Alcatel phone with a neon-green cover worth $89, Social Security card, Emblem Health card, MetroCard, Parks Department recreation center card and $8 cash.


Preteen thieves

A Florida woman was helped by a fellow Sunshine Stater when two kids tried to steal her purse at a coffee shop.

On March 9, at 6:05 p.m., a 20-year-old woman from Florida was having coffee with a friend at the Starbucks at 1841 Broadway, near W. 60th St. when two preteens grabbed her purse from off the table.

The young wannabe thieves ran off with the bag, but a good Samaritan chased the duo down and retrieved the stolen purse. The helper was a 49-year-old man from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The young troublemakers were arrested at the corner of Columbus Ave. and W. 60th St. It was the 12-year-old boy of the pair that snatched the bag, which had a blue Coach wallet, a Florida State ID, a Bank of America Visa debit card and $400 cash inside.


Smooth operator

Police are searching for man that stole a huge amount of face cream from a Duane Reade at 325 Columbus Ave., at W. 75th St.

On March 4, at about 9:57 p.m. a Duane Reade employee noticed a shopper place 25 Vichy skincare items, 60 La Roche Posay items and 39 Neutrogena products into a bag. The shopper then ran out of the store in an unknown direction, making off with $4,020 worth of skincare products.


Bed, Bath and…Hey!

A young woman had thousands of dollars worth of property stolen when she took her eyes off her purse as she shopped.

On Sat., March 9, at 7:30 p.m. a 25-year-old shopper at Bed, Bath and Beyond, at 1932 Broadway, at W. 65th St., set her Chanel purse in the front of her shopping cart. When she went to check out, she realized that her purse was missing along a dozen other pricey items.

The thief took off with the $3,000 Chanel purse, a $1,200 Chanel wallet, $100 worth of silver and pearl earrings, a $100 silver ring, $159 Apple airpods, four credit cards, a $500 key ring, $135 worth of gift cards, a $25 hairbrush, $10 MetroCard, New York State ID and $40 cash.


Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech