Police seek Chelsea burglar

Police were investigating a series of burglaries in Chelsea in the past few weeks. “We have a lot of resources working on it,” Deputy Inspector Elisa Cokkinos, 10th Precinct commanding officer, said on Tues., Sept. 28.

Two burglaries occurred in adjacent buildings on W. 21st St. across from the General Theological Seminary.

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 19, a woman resident was lying in bed with her baby in her second-floor apartment at 427 W. 21st St. when she heard the floor creaking in the living room and shouted, “Who’s there!” When no one answered she got up, went to the next room and caught a glimpse of a man as he was walking out of the apartment door. Police said the intruder entered through a window on a rear fire escape and nothing was reported stolen.

A few minutes earlier, apparently the same burglar had entered a ground-floor apartment through the rear yard of 425 W. 21st St. when the residents were out, and made off with $1,600 in cash and $600 in British and Canadian currency and euros. Another resident of the building told police she had been looking out of a window at the time and spotted someone climbing a backyard fence.

Other burglaries include one in a fifth-floor apartment at 249 W. 21st St. between Seventh and Eighth Aves. sometime between 10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 18, and 5:15 a.m. the next morning when the resident who had been out returned to find that the door had been forced open and jewelry had been stolen.

An art studio in a commercial building at 551 W. 21st St. near 11th Ave. was broken into sometime between 1 p.m. Thurs., Sept. 16, and 10:30 a.m. Fri., Sept. 17, when the tenant returned to the studio and discovered that a computer valued at $3,000 was stolen.

In another incident apparently not related to the burglary pattern, a maintenance man of the building at 260 W. 21st St. discovered a stranger wandering in a third-floor hallway around 3:45 p.m. Tues., Sept. 21. He called police, who arrested Qixiong Chen, 47, and charged him with possession of burglary tools. The suspect was a carrying a screwdriver in a bag, police said.

Albert Amateau