Reunited — and it feels so good!
Councilman Steve Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights) got back behind the wheel of his beloved — but stolen — 11-year-old Honda Civic on Friday morning, two weeks after it was swiped from near his Monitor Street home on the same day that his district office was also burglarized.
“I’m thrilled,” he said. “The car has such sentimental value.”
The antediluvian auto went missing on Feb. 26 from a spot near Meeker Avenue in Greenpoint at the beginning of a very bad weekend for the councilman. At the same time he found out about the carjacking, Levin was informed that a thief had broken into his Boerum Hill office and tried to steal a flat-screen TV and two computer monitors.
The nearly simultaneous crimes smacked of a Levin-gate conspiracy, but the police determined that the crimes were unrelated to each other — and to political shenanigans.
The alleged office thief, Louis Adule, 22, is being tried for burglary and petty larceny, but the auto theft was declared a lost cause.
“That s—t is gone,” one of Levin’s staffers said soon after the incident.
Hondas are often stolen and later sold for parts, explained 94th Precinct Deputy Inspector Terence Hurson. Levin’s was only one of eight cars swiped in the precinct last month — and most were Hondas or Toyotas.
By Wednesday, Levin had all but given up hope.
“Sadly, my car hasn’t been found yet,” he told concerned community members, admitting that he had even started looking for a replacement.
Yet, in a stunning feat of police work and wheely good luck, police in the Bronx found the car near Pelham Bay Park on Thursday. They notified the 84th Precinct around 11:30 am, and cops there immediately called Levin.
“It was a very welcome phone call,” he said, even though the police warned Levin that his wheels were looking a little worse for wear.
“It was very funny because they mentioned a number of problems,” he said. “The police said, ‘The bumper is a little messed up; there are dings toward back; the radio is gone; and the handle is messed up.’ I told them, ‘Those are all pre-existing conditions!’ ”
The “pre-existing conditions” were on full display in the parking lot of City Hall on Friday, where many knew the car well.
“I couldn’t believe it was back,” said Councilman Mark Weprin (D–Queens). “It was the rusted hole on the side that I recognized.”
But at least one official had actually driven in the car, and could contest Levin’s claim that it’s in “fine working order.”
“We got stuck once,” admitted Councilwomen Letitia James (D–Fort Greene). Even so, she said that the car makes Levin “a man of the people” and that the dirt in the backseat “represents hard work.”
©2011 Community News Group
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