An ambulette-driving alleged package thief was apprehended on July 23 through the combined efforts of the Flatbush Shomrim, the NYPD, and a family whose Marine Park home was hit twice by the mail crook — but he was soon back on the streets thanks to a sweet-heart plea deal, and the Hebrew heroes who brought him to justice are not pleased.
“If this community found out they wasted their time trying to catch this guy, it would be a shame,” said Steven Weill, a coordinator with the Flatbush Shomrim who was instrumental in catching the thief. “I mean this guy stole thousands of dollars of other people’s property.”
Flatbush Shomrim founder Chaim Deutsch said he was aware of a crook pilfering packages off of Marine Park porches, when a woman living along Avenue L called him on July 12, with surveillance footage of the thief in action.
“There had been a number of incidents of missing UPS and Fed Ex packages,” said Deutsch.
“But one woman had three or four packages delivered to her home that went missing, so she checked her surveillance cameras.”
The footage showed a tubby, balding man with a clipboard loitering in front of the family’s Avenue L home until the coast was clear, and then calmly collecting their packages and taking them to his van.
The Shomrim founder collected the victim’s information and footage, sending it to cops at the 63rd Precinct, but the real action didn’t start until July 23, when that same victim, who was upstate on vacation, received an e-mail alert regarding a package delivery.
Fearing the thief might strike again, the victim used her computer to view her home surveillance system and — surprise! — there was no parcel on her porch.
After rewinding the footage, however, the victim saw a familiar face, according to Weill.
“It was the same guy, and it hadn’t even been 10 minutes,” said Weill. “It was clear as day. She had very good cameras.”
Suspecting the crook was still nearby, the victim’s next move was to call Deutsch, who contacted Weill, who quickly sped to the scene on Avenue L, and it wasn’t long before he spotted the bandit.
“I saw him getting into this white van,” said Weill. “I’d seen the footage, so I knew it was him.”
Weill picked up the driver’s tail and phoned instructions to Deutsch, who in turn funneled directions to officers at the 63rd Precinct, as the alleged crook drove up one block after another looking for more loot.
It wasn’t long before the cops caught up with him, whom they later identified as Alexsand Furman, and collared him at Flatbush Avenue and Avenue I, where they found the back of his “ambulette” filled with packages belonging to two Marine Park familes — and a taser to boot.
Weill thought that was the last he would hear of the alleged serial package thief for a long time, until this paper informed him that the larceny charges against Furman were dropped after he pleaded guilty to an unrelated violation for disorderly conduct, court documents show.
As a result, Furman was cut loose with only a stint of community service as punishment.
The man behind the Alex_Furman account did not respond to a request for comment, nor did the public defender who represented Alexand Furman.
Reach reporter Colin Mixson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.