Cops say they have nailed the bandit responsible for stealing the cheap brass railings in the unlocked lobbies of 19 or 20 buildings on a quiet Bay Ridge street — and the suspect is a resident of the block.
Cops said that Brendon Garcia, 19, has been stealing the handrails on Owls Head Court since March, and arrested him on May 4 for his alleged role in the thefts at two homes — though a source said he could soon be linked to eight more crimes.
“He was arrested with two brass banisters in his hand and was charged with that,” said a police source.
Garcia is out on bail and may have worked as part of a team of brassholes, the source said.
Garcia could not be reached for comment.
Since March, thieves have stolen the railings from all but one of the brick row houses on the one-block strip between Owls Head Park and Bay Ridge Avenue, neighbors said.
“At first, they took one side and then three weeks later, they took the other side,” said Gerd Raynie, 80, whose entryway was stripped bare.
A neighbor was equally surprised when his railing was stolen.
“Suddenly they disappeared — what for? They’re old,” said Akram Abdula, doubting whether it would be worth it to go through all the trouble of stripping the heavy brass railings and then hauling them to a scrap metal yard.
Despite the arrest, neighbors remain furious over the cops’ inability to stop the thieves, arguing that the thefts should have been classified as felonies so that detectives would be assigned.
That’s a hard argument to make, given the lowly stature of brass in the metal world. Unlike copper, whose soaring prices have made it the new gold among Brooklyn thieves, brass goes for about $1.70 a pound.