Cops say they have arrested a man who may have been stealing weekend editions of the New York Times from front stoops in Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Park Slope since the fall.
The big break in the case came on Saturday, when an investigator with the Old Gray Lady saw the man grab seven stacks of freshly delivered papers from the sidewalk outside a grocery store on Atlantic Avenue, get in a cab, and flee. Together, the papers were worth $120, cops said.
Investigator Gene Sullivan, who was assigned to the case by the so-called Paper of Record after subscribers in several neighborhoods complained of stolen papers, chased after the car and nabbed the man at the corner of Nevins and Schermerhorn streets, cops said.
As the two wrestled out of the car, Sullivan pinned down the perp and then called the police.
“That guy has been stealing these papers for a while,” a police source said.
Cops charged Gary Stewart, 50, with petit larceny, attempted assault, and harassment, according to the criminal complaint. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on July 28 and was released without bail.
He faces up to one year in jail on the misdemeanor charges, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s office said.
Stewart’s Legal Aid attorney, Nora Christenson, said only, “There’s a lot going on with this case. … He’s looking forward to his day in court.”
Park Slopers whose papers were stolen are happy to hear the news — even though Stewart, for now, is only charged in the theft of the Boerum Hill papers.
“We’re very pleased,” said Michael Guthammar, who lives on Park Place and was so fed up with the thefts of his newspapers that he installed a fake camera over his stoop and note telling the burglar to leave.
He’s been receiving his papers ever since — but still wants justice.
“The crime should be punished,” he said.
©2008 Community News Group
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