Crime Watch


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  • Tony Webster, via flickr



BY JERRY DANZIG

New Paltz and No Pulse

An area resident saw justice served against a former roommate. From about mid-September to the start of October, 2016, a 75-year-old Upper East Side resident was in the hospital having heart surgery and recovering. In his absence, his roommate, a 45-year-old man originally from New Paltz, decided to help himself to the patient’s credit card, racking up $10,000 worth of charges on the card. He then took off and never returned to the apartment. Police caught up with the roommate, however, arresting him on July 12 and charging him with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property after having absconded with a $900 laptop computer belonging to the recovering roomate. His excuse to police about ripping off his heart-patient roommate? “I thought he was dead,” he told police.

Two seniors Scammed

Two more area seniors became victims of phone scams. In the first incident, which took place at 10:30 a.m. July 2, an East 86th Street resident, 79, got a phone call from someone who told her that her computer had been compromised. She was instructed to buy iTunes gift cards as payment to have the problem resolved. She complied, buying gift cards from Duane Reade and CVS in the amount of $1,900, which she called in to the scammer. Remember, folks, scammers love gift cards because they can’t be traced; beware of any caller requesting payment in gift cards!

Meanwhile, between June 15 and July 11, another woman, 89, received a series of phone calls from someone claiming to represent Publishers Clearing House, telling her that she was a sweepstakes winner but she needed to pay taxes before she could receive her winnings. She sent the perpetrator a personal check in the amount of $2,500 and of course never received an award.

It’s Complex

The apartments of two Upper Eastsiders were burglarized recently in the same large apartment complex. From June 27 to July 5, a 34-year-old woman living at 305 East 86 Street was on vacation. When she returned to her apartment, she discovered that a number of items were missing, including six Hermes bracelets, various pieces of Tiffany jewelry, two IWC watches, and more, with a total value of $15,540.

And at 12:23 p.m. on July 1, a 34-year-old man living at 315 East 86th Street received a phone call from a home security device alerting him to motion detected in his apartment. When he returned home, he discovered that a gold watch valued at $30,000, a gold necklace, four sets of Tiffany cufflinks, and $2,000 in cash had been taken. The total haul amounted to $48,000.

Citibunk

One ID thief got an early start on a life of crime. At 4:45 p.m. on July 10, a 20-year-old lower Manhattan resident entered the Citibank branch at 1330 First Avenue and tried to cash a fraudulent check in the amount of $3,992.76 as well as withdraw $2,500 using a debit card. Bank personnel became suspicious and discovered that the check was fraudulent and the debit card belonged to someone else. The woman was arrested on July 10 and charged with grand larceny, forgery, possession of a forged instrument, and ID theft.


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