Thief turns apartment into an electronics store

The Brooklyn Paper
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A thief made off with nearly $7,500 in electronic equipment — including three laptops and three iPods — after breaking into a Fifth Street apartment on April 13.

Friday the 13th was certainly unlucky for three female roommates at the apartment, which is at Fifth Avenue. The trio told cops that no one was in the flat between 9 am and 12:40 pm when the thief broke in.

The list of stolen goods reads like an electronic store inventory: a Dell laptop, a Fujitsu laptop, a Sony Vaio laptop, two digital cameras, three iPods (one inscribed “Lil Sweetie Pie M.D.”) and a webcam.

Book drop

A book lover’s purse was swiped off her baby carriage after four thugs distracted her with a fake charity pitch in the Brooklyn Public Library’s main branch on Grand Army Plaza on April 12.

The perps approached the 46-year-old victim and “asked for a donation” at around noon, according to police. While the woman’s attention was diverted, one of the thieves stole her purse, which contained a $10 MetroCard and a Trinidadian driver’s license.

Three of the four thieves were later caught, thanks to surveillance video. The trio — two 15-year-olds, one 16-year-old — were charged with grand larceny. The apparent ringleader — a 15-year-old — has three prior arrests on his record.

Talk the talk

A woman talking on her cellphone on Dean Street had the device ripped from her hand on April 10.

The 18-year-old victim told cops that she was approaching the corner of Fourth Avenue at around noon when a man rushed up from behind, grabbed her by the neck, and took off.

Cops are looking for a 19-year-old black teenager, 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds.

Theft auto

At least two cars in the neighborhood were broken into last week.

In the first theft, on April 9, thieves smashed through the passenger-side window of a Canadian man’s car, which had been parked on Eighth Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues. The perps got away with a laptop computer.

Three days later, a Goshen, N.Y., man returned to his car at around 9:30 pm to discover the back window had been smashed and his cash-filled wallet stolen.

In all, the man lost $900, credit and debit cards, various IDs and a $200 cellphone.

Unsafe at work

An Eighth Street business lost thousands of dollars in power tools in an overnight break in on April 12.

The owner of the construction company, which is between Second and Third avenues, told cops that when he showed up for work at 7:45 am the next day, he discovered that the building had been broken into and more than $5,500 in power tools had been taken.

A man’s family

A domestic dispute pitting a husband and wife against their nephew got ugly on April 14 with the nephew telling his uncle, “I’m going to kick you’re a–”and then cutting his aunt with a blade, cops said.

The action took place at around 1:30 pm inside an apartment on Lincoln Place between Sixth and Seventh avenues. The man told cops that he arrived home to be told by his wife that the nephew had broken into a room that was off-limits to him.

In the ensuing argument, the 21-year-old nephew issued his threat, but ran out of the building rather than carry it out. Minutes later, however, he returned and started punching the uncle.

The aunt, 41, tried to intervene, but ended up with slashes on her arms from the nephew’s blade, police said.

Doesn’t compute

A laptop belonging to a Fifth Avenue woman was stolen from under her pillow after a thief entered her apartment through an unsecured roof hatch on April 12, cops said.

The victim, who lives between First and Second streets, told police that she had left the Dell laptop under her pillow just before 8 am. But when she returned 11 hours later, the computer was gone. She then noticed that the roof hatch had not been properly locked.

Boiler break-in

An Eighth Avenue building lost its $100 power saw on April 12 after a thief broke into the boiler room where the super had hidden the tool, cops said.

A neighbor said she heard loud banging at around 7:30 pm — the result, it turned out, of the thief banging away at the lock on the boiler room of the building, which is at Seventh Street.

Pay the man

A would-be shoplifter at a mega-hardware store on Second Avenue was picked up by cops after trying to walk out with nearly $1,100 in tools and equipment on April 11.

Police said the man, 39, simply tried to walk out with a cart full of tools at around 8:30 pm, but was quickly caught by store security.

Unlucky 13

A woman drinking on a weekday afternoon at a popular dive bar on 13th Street had her purse stolen from a hook under the bar by two thieves who weren’t exactly subtle.

The 24-year-old woman told cops that she had been in the bar, which is near the corner of Fifth Avenue, at around 3:30 pm when two Hispanic men entered. As one man grabbed the bag, his accomplice yelled, “Hurry up! Let’s get out of here!” before the pair ran off.

The woman quickly canceled the credit cards, which the perps later used in a failed attempt to buy MetroCards at the subway station at Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue. The woman also lost a cellphone, which had been in her purse.

Cops are looking for a 20-year-old white Hispanic man, 5-foot-7, 130 pounds with corn-row braids and his partner, a 5-foot-8, 150-pound man with short shaved hair and a ruddy complexion.

Subway chase

A man who had been riding a Manhattan-bound 3 train ended up chasing down a man who grabbed the cellphone out of his hand at the Grand Army Plaza station.

The man had gotten on the subway at New Lots Avenue in East New York at 11 pm on April 9. Several stops later, he noticed that four men got on the train — and one of those men grabbed the phone as the train was pulling into Grand Army Plaza.

But the victim didn’t give up the mobile communication device so easily. Before the train left the station, the 20-year-old man jumped off and chased the thief onto the street, where her dropped the Nextel phone.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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