Tweaking tool thieves thwarted

The Brooklyn Paper
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A crack binge left a trio of construction-site thieves sitting ducks for police on Dec. 29.

Cops arrested two men and a woman at the Warren Street home of one of the suspects after tracking the three from a burglary on St. Marks Place, between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

The trio — construction workers who appeared familiar with the crime scene — allegedly broke into the office at the job site just before 7 am, and busted open the tool locker. The crew helped themselves to power and hand tools valued at several hundred dollars and fled in three different directions, police said.

A 40-year employee who caught sight of the thieves called 911. Police tracked the trio to the Warren Street house, where Police Officer Clinton Philbert of the 78th Precinct arrested them. A search revealed several rocks of crack and drug paraphernalia.

Each member of the crew — a 38-year-old man, a 43-year-old woman, and a 51-year-old man — faces burglary and drug charges.

Colored cash

An armed thief held up a Fifth Avenue bank on Dec. 27 and escaped — but a dye pack secreted into his cache by a quick-thinking teller destroyed his loot, cops said.

The robber wandered into the bank branch, near Garfield Place, at 11:20 am, walked up to a 26-year-old teller and handed him a note that read, “Give me the money. I have a gun.” He also told the clerk to “be easy.”

The teller did his best, loading the cash — and dye pack — into a bag. The thief bolted from the bank, leaving the note behind. But just outside the door, the dye pack exploded and colored the bills, rendering them useless to the robber. The thief ditched a stack of bills less than 50 feet from the bank entrance.

Police are looking for a black man in his early 30s, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, with short hair and a beard, dressed that day in a black coat and a black cap.

Surprise visit

A Baltic Street resident returned home on Dec. 27 to find herself face-to-face with a smooth-talking burglar, police said.

“Hello, how you doing? Long time, I haven’t seen you,” the prowler said, desperately trying to distract the victim when she returned at 7:15 pm to her apartment, near Third Avenue.

The 28-year-old victim realized what was happening — but it was too late. The thief ran off with a load of jewelry and designer clothing valued at nearly $6,400. As he ran, he advised the victim to just “walk away.”

Instead, she counted her losses: a $1,200 gold tennis bracelet, a diamond ring worth $3,000, two crucifixes, a wedding band, a pair of men’s Timberland boots, a Lacoste sweater and a pair of Ecko jeans.

Police are looking for a white Hispanic man in his mid 40s, 5-foot-11, 230 pounds, with short, dark hair. He was dressed that day in a black overcoat and a blue stocking cap.

Jewelry heist

Burglars walked away with $6,700 in jewelry from a Union Street apartment during Christmas week — and let the family feline follow them out the door, police said.

The thieves had broken through the front door of the building, which is off Fifth Avenue, sometime between 6 am on Dec. 23 and 7:30 pm on Dec. 26. Once inside, they loaded up on a dozen rings, jade necklaces, moonstone pendants, handfuls of bracelets, a piece of pink quartz and a trio of jewelry boxes, and left the way they came.

A neighbor found the kitty wandering the hall that week. When she knocked on the victim’s door, she got no answer, but found it unlocked. She slipped the cat back inside and thought little of it — until police came to investigate the crime later that week.

Sick thief

For the victim, it was twice the pain.

A Long Island man became the target of a theft while he was a patient at a Fourth Avenue clinic on Dec. 29, police said.

Someone swiped a suitcase belonging to the 55-year-old victim from the medical offices, at Sixth Street, sometime around 7 pm. The bag held $650 in valuables, including a digital camera, cellphone, a checkbook, driver’s license, library card, car keys and $150.

High-dollar haul

A burglar scored jewelry and electronics valued at more than $6,650 from a Prospect Park West home vacant for a just over an hour on New Year’s Eve, police said.

The thief climbed up the fire escape and came in through the window of the apartment, near Garfield Place, sometime between 6:50 and 8:10 pm. Once inside, the burglar swiped a Sony Vaio computer, an IBM laptop, a digital camera, a camcorder, several rings, a pair of silver cuff links, and several pairs of earrings.

Smoke out

Someone swiped 300 cartons of cigarettes from a Fourth Avenue gas station closed for the night on Dec. 30, cops said.

Thieves came through the front door of the filling station, near Sackett Street, sometime after 3 pm that day, and before 6:50 am on Dec. 31. Once inside, they snipped the padlock on a storage room and loaded up on nearly $2,000 worth of smokes.

A real pain

Burglars stole $150 from a sandwich shop on Sixth Avenue in a pre-dawn raid on Dec. 30, police said.

The thieves broke through a screen door at the French bakery, at Ninth Street, between 1 and 6 am, when it was time to make the beignets. Once inside, the burglar grabbed the cash — but ignored the croissants — and bolted out the same door.

Car crimes

Thieves targeted at least three cars parked on Slope streets during the holiday week, two of them Hondas, according to police reports.

•On Dec. 26, between midnight and 8 am, someone stole two airbags from the dashboard of a 2006 Honda Accord parked on Carroll Street, near Sixth Avenue. The 56-year-old owner, who lives on the block, found the passenger-side vent window broken and the safety devices — with a $1,300-plus resale value — had disappeared.

•On Dec. 27, a 2004 Honda Civic parked on President Street, near Eighth Avenue, also lost its front airbags. The owner, a Michigan woman, was visiting a relative on Union Street when thieves broke the rear passenger-side window and sliced open the dashboard.

•On Dec. 29, around 6 pm, a 33-year-old Manhattan woman had her purse stolen from a car parked in a lot on Second Avenue, between 11th and 12th streets. The thieves caused $200 in damage, breaking the driver’s-side window, to steal the bag, which held charge cards, a driver’s license, a hospital pager and a pair of diamond earrings, valued at $500.

Cell swipe

A teenager lost her lifeline when two thugs stole her cellphone on Dec. 30, police said.

The 16-year-old was walking on Atlantic Avenue, near Fifth Avenue, heading toward a shoping mall around 4:30 pm, when the two thieves walked up. One restrained her as the other punched her, and then grabbed the cell from her waistband. The brutes ran off on Atlantic Avenue with the phone, leaving her destined for Brooklyn Hospital with a swollen lip.

The victim told cops that one of the two thieves was a black man, 5-foot-8, dressed in a black snorkel jacket.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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