Precinct commander catches thieves himself

Precinct commander catches thieves himself
Deputy Inspector John Argenziano of the 78th Precinct could easily give himself the “Cop of the Month” plaque, this month for making a big collar. In this file shot, he gave it to Officer Lawrence Shertzman.
Photo by Ted Levin

Hero cop

The precinct’s top cop busted a group of thugs who snatched a poor kid’s cellphone on Fourth Street on March 29.

A group of teenage bullies swiped a 14-year-old’s Blackberry cellphone near Fifth Avenue, then fled. Deputy Inspector John Argenziano was later patrolling a few blocks away at 6 pm, when he spotted a teen in striped jacket, who matched the description of one of the bullies, hanging out in a group.

The zealous officer then brought the victim to the scene to confirm the teen in the jacket — and some of his friends — were the jerks who jacked the phone. Four of them were arrested.

Style police

A gun-toting jerk snatched some expensive jewelry from clothing shop on Flatbush Avenue on March 25.

A worker told cops he was doing inventory at Vinnies Styles, which sells hip-hop duds near Bergen Street, at around 11 am, when a man walked into the store and flashed a silver handgun. “Give me everything,” he shouted before swiping $9,000 worth of white metal studs, a $4,000 yellow chain and the clerk’s cellphone.

The crook then jumped into a Mercedes Benz — with Georgia license plates — and sped off.

The boutique is one block from the 78th Precinct stationhouse.


A crook jacked a bunch of cash from a trendy clothing store on Flatbush Avenue on March 27.

An employee told cops he was inside American Apparel near Park Place, at 9:15 am, when he got a call from a man claiming he was cleaning guy who needed to make a delivery. The crook-in-disguise walked into the store holding a cardboard box, set it down and pulled out a silver revolver.

“Take me to the office,” he demanded, while pointing the gun at the worker. The employee emptied a safe, full of $730, into the box before the thug ran out the back door.

Salon snoop

A sneaky fellow broke into a beauty salon on Seventh Avenue but took nothing on March 27.

The victim told cops a man destroyed the lock on the front gate of Elan Salon, near Garfield Place, at around 4:45 am. Cameras then show the man rifling drawers at the front of the store — but something must have spooked him because he scampered away empty-handed.

Lock picker

A lock-picking thief snatched a wallet from a man at a gym on 15th Street on March 27.

The 40-year-old victim told cops he locked his wallet inside a locker at Harbor Fitness, near Fifth Avenue, at around 6:15 pm, then went for a sweaty workout. He came back an hour later an found the locker door flung open — with no wallet in sight.

— Natalie O’Neill

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