This newspaper’s famously bike-riding editor was grounded last week after a thief swiped his beat-up set of wheels from inside his front yard.
Editor Gersh Kuntzman, 43, told cops that he had locked his bike — with a very good chain that his wife had bought just weeks earlier — to the inside railing of his 13th Street home on July 18 at around 11:30 pm.
When Kuntzman awoke at 10 am, which is extremely rare for him, the bike was gone. Another resident of the building said she had heard a loud noise at 7 am and looked out the window to see a man — with a cigarette behind his ear — ride away on the bike.
Kuntzman said he was chastened by the theft from inside his own front yard, which is between Seventh and Eighth avenues.
“I bring that bike to the stationhouse every single week, yet foolishly never had it registered with the cops there,” he said. “Naturally, the officers there let me have it about that as I compiled the report you are now reading.”
A wig-wearing bank robber got away with $960 from a Fifth Avenue branch on July 14 after presenting the teller with a warning, “Don’t mess with me.”
The thug entered the bank, which is at 13th Street at around 4:30 pm, cops said, and quickly pushed over a note demanding “big bills — no bank money,” plus the request that he not be messed with.
The transaction processed, he headed out towards Fourth Avenue, cops said. Police are looking for a 5-foot-3 man with light blotchy skin and that telltale wig.
Two crooks used the old distraction ploy — twice! — on a man as he walked on Sixth Avenue on July 18, and got away with his iPod.
The 25-year-old victim told cops he was at Sterling Place at around 1 am when two men approached.
“Do you have a cigarette?” one of the men asked.
“How late is the Chinese place open?” the other asked.
In the confusion, the men then pushed the victim to the ground, grabbed the fancy digital music device and fled towards Seventh Avenue.
A woman who agreed to co-sign for some student loans for her fiancé ended up getting shaken down for $145,000 when the paramour turned around and took out five more loans without her knowledge.
The 31-year-old swain turned himself in with his 30-year-old former love, who told cops that she reported the crime so she could “clean up this mess.”
That “mess” involved not just the two original loans for studies at Columbia University, but five more — three of which were filed electronically, cops said. In all cases, he fraudulently used his Pacific Street fiancée’s Social Security number, police added.
The Long Island man was charged with the larceny and with forgery.
There were at least three speedy swipes from inside neighborhood buildings last week:
• The Mac Support Store on Seventh Street told cops that two men entered at around 6 pm on July 15 and took two Macbooks, each valued at $1,100. The men fled from the Apple-certified repair and sales location, which is between Second and Third avenues.
• An employee at a school on Fourth Avenue near 14th Street told cops that her purse was stolen from inside a first-floor classroom at around 12:30 pm on July 16. In addition to a $300 gift card, she lost credit cards, which she promptly cancelled.
• A Thai-loving woman had her bag stolen from a popular, and justifiably so, Asian restaurant on Seventh Avenue on July 8. The victim told cops that she had turned her attention away from her purse for just 15 minutes at around 7 pm, only to return to find the bag gone from the eatery, which is between 13th and 14th streets. She lost cards and $100.
Burgs in the burg
For the second straight week, cops in the 78th Precinct were following up on a rash of break-ins. Here are the grisly details:
• A thief got away with four bikes out of a St. Marks Place building while the tenants were away between July 13 and 16. The bikes, which were kept in the basement of the building, which is between Fourth and Fifth avenues, were worth close to $1,500.
• One of the Fifth Avenue’s most-popular bars was ripped off for $8,000 after closing time on July 14. The owners of the bar told cops that sometime after 3 am, a thief broke in through the side door on Third Street, broke a lock on a inside door and swiped the moneybox.
• A thief got away with $100 from a Sixth Avenue diner early on July 20. The owner of the joint, which is at St. Marks Avenue streets told cops that the break-in must have occurred before 5:15 am, when workers showed up to begin another day of serving the neighborhood’s spinach-and-feta omelet-loving crowd.
• A thug got away with electronics and jewelry after smashing his way into a 12th Street apartment on July 16. The tenant returned to his home, which is between Sixth and Seventh avenues, at around 7:30 pm to find the broken glass and his big-screen TV, xBox game, video camera, necklace and brown Dockers jacket missing.
• A patriotic-sounding apparel store on Flatbush Avenue was robbed of a fancy digital camera early on July 14. The owner of the chain location, which is in a former movie theater near Seventh Avenue, told cops that no one was in the store between 10 pm on July 13 and 10 am the next day.
• A thief stole a saw after infiltrating a not-so-secure construction site on Butler Street on July 17. The perp broke through a thin wood-paneled wall to enter the site, which is near Fourth Avenue, sometime between noon and 2 pm. The Skilman saw is valued at $200. Cops say the man is 5-foot-1, 140 pounds with distinctive violet eyes and dark, Caesar-styled hair.
In an unrelated (or is it?) crime, another tool-loving perp broke into a Second Street house on July 20 and took $550 in equipment and material. In that case, the thug also had slipped through a thin wood barrier to get at the booty.
As The Brooklyn Paper reported last week, the precinct is in the midst of a burglary spike.
It’s a scream
A babysitter fended off a would-be thief with a scream on July 14, cops said.
The babysitter, 44, told police that she was tending to her charges inside a building on Eighth Avenue near 12th Street at around 1:30 pm when she saw a man trying to push in her kitchen window from the fire escape with his feet. She screamed, and the thug fled.