National pastime

National pastime

A 22-year-old Mill Island resident was arrested last week on charges that he attempted — with a baseball bat in hand — to break into two addresses near his home on National Drive, police alleged.

Police alleged that Igor Popov tried to break into a National Drive home near East 66th Street at 3 a.m. on January 29.

Roughly seven hours later, he attempted to break into another National Drive home — this one near East 65th Street, officials alleged.

Both times his alleged attempts were thwarted by his victims, who intervened as he tried to bash his way through a rear door with his baseball bat.

The first victim told police that he heard loud noises. When he went to investigate, he saw Popov allegedly walking away from the location. The lock to the back door was damaged.

A few hours later, a woman in the second home heard her rear screen door open and the sound of breaking glass.

She ran to the door, finding Popov on her property armed with a baseball bat, police alleged.

The woman called police, who rounded up and arrested Popov without incident, charging him with two counts of attempted burglary, criminal trespass and possession of burglar’s tools.

Home invasion

Three thugs forced their way into an East 57th Street resident’s home, ransacking the place of electronics, jewelry and a cell phone, cops from the 63rd Precinct reported this week.

The victim told police that he was just about to enter his home between Avenues H and I at 2:15 a.m. on January 28 when the suspects pulled a gun at him.

The thieves held the victim at bay as they went through his home and ran off with his property.

Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward.

Calls can be made to the 63rd Precinct at (718) 258-4411. All calls will be kept confidential.

Mixing it up

An argument in a Ralph Avenue department store ended abruptly Friday when a customer allegedly attacked an employee with a cake mixer.

Police said that 41-year-old Jennifer Mingo was taken into custody after she allegedly attacked an employee of the Telco Discount Store between Flatlands and Bergen avenues at 6:35 p.m. clash on January 29.

While the cake mixer was still in the box, it did some damage, leaving the employee with a bump to the head, officials alleged.

Mingo was charged with assault in the third degree and criminal possession of a weapon.

It was unclear what sparked the argument as this paper went to press.

Pocket running

Cops are looking for two thugs who grabbed a 19-year-old by his coat and ordered him to “run his pockets” during a recent altercation.

The victim told police that he was nearing the corner of Avenue L and Utica Avenue at 9 p.m. on January 22 when the unidentified suspects grabbed him.

The thieves ran off with $10, the victim’s cell phone and a music player, officials said.

No injuries were reported.

Jewelry jack

Thieves broke into an East 59th Street home last week, taking an assortment of jewelry.

The 37-year-old victim told police that the thieves entered her home near Avenue K sometime after 8:30 a.m. on January 23.

The woman said she didn’t know her home had been burglarized until she had returned from work.

Wipe out

A woman ended up fighting off two Duane Reade employees who caught her trying to steal baby wipes from the store.

Police said that the unnamed woman entered the Ralph Avenue store near Avenue M at 5:50 p.m. on January 26 and tried to secret a box of baby wipes in her bag.

Her subterfuge didn’t fool store employees, who stopped her at the door.

The woman allegedly punched both employees during the ensuing struggle, but was soon taken into custody and charged with robbery.

Screeching to a halt

A 38-year-old motorist was busted on drunk driving charges last week after he — of all things — hit his brakes too hard.

Cops from the 63rd Precinct told prosecutors that they saw Andy Cummings allegedly driving his 2006 Jeep Cherokee at a high rate of speed down Flatbush Avenue.

When he reached a red light at Avenue S, Cummings abruptly hit his brakes, causing his tires “to screech and smoke to appear,” police alleged.

Believing that something was wrong, a police officer pulled the speed racer over, finding him to be apparently drunk behind the wheel.

The cop’s suspicions were confirmed when a Breathalyzer test was administered and Cummings scored a .160 percent — well over the legal limit, police said.

Automobile access

Thieves raided three cars parked in Bergen Beach and Marine Park last week.

Officials said that someone entered a 35-year-old woman’s car as it sat on East 74th Street between avenues V and W at 2 p.m. on January 22 taking her purse, credit cards and some clothes.

Two days later, on January 24, a thief raided a car in a parking lot on Avenue U near East 33rd Street, taking the victim’s credit cards and ID. The car was unlocked at the time, the victim admitted.

Later that day, a car parked in a driveway on Kimball Street between Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S was broken into. Several pricey electronics and some clothes were removed, police were told.

Busted for fraud

Cops have arrested an area motorist for intentionally crashing his car back two years ago in order to bilk his auto insurance company.

The motorist, who was not named, crashed a car near the corner of Avenue S and East 55th Street during the scam which took place back in July, 2008.

The insurance company reportedly sent the motorist a check to repair the damages, but soon realized that something about the crash was suspicious.

Investigators got involved, and found that the accident had been staged, officials alleged.

Gun running

Cops are looking for a pair of gun-toting thieves responsible for two hold-ups in Marine Park — one of which involved a 16-year-old boy.

The teen told police that he was near the corner of Avenue S and East 37th Street at 11 p.m. January 15 when two black males approached and flashed a gun.

“Put your stuff on the ground,” one of the men demanded as they robbed him of a $1 and his cell phone.

The thieves ran off, leaving the victim unharmed.

But an hour and a half later, the two suspects resurfaced, police said.

This time they jumped a 50-year-old man on East 34th Street between Avenue P and Quentin Road, putting a gun to his head.

The thieves made off with $10, officials said.

Cops are asking anyone with information regarding these two incidents to come forward.

Calls can be made to the 63rd Precinct at (718) 258-4411. All calls will be kept confidential.

Hijacked off street

A 63-year-old man was robbed of $220 after he was kidnapped off of Ralph Avenue.

The senior told police that two thugs approached him between Flatlands and Bergen Avenue at 11:30 a.m. on January 16 and pulled a gun on him.

The suspects then forced the man into their van and drove him around the neighborhood, stealing his cash during the terror trip.

After an hour, the thieves dropped the now penniless victim off in the neighborhood unharmed.

Cops were still looking for the thieves as this paper went to press.

Help wipe out graffiti

As the ongoing war against graffiti vandalism continues, cops are now offering a $500 reward to anyone with information that can lead them to graffiti vandals.

The hefty reward is part of the city’s new push to rid New York of graffiti, which is one of the leading quality of life complaints brought to police.

Officials said that cleaning up graffiti is essential to the plan, to show that the community is no longer going to tolerate marred and tagged-up walls and street corners.

According to police, there is a perception that if a community will tolerate graffiti, they will tolerate other criminal activities, such as drug dealing and prostitution.

Anyone with information about graffiti vandalism in their neighborhood is urged to contact either 311 or 911.