Last Sunday, in the early morning, a 48-year-old woman from New Jersey was walking along West End Avenue when a young man approached her from behind, grabbed her and ripped her purse from her shoulder. The perp took off running, but a doorman at a nearby building saw the entire incident and chased him and another teenager who joined him in running. The doorman was able to chase the two thieves, who were 18 and 16 years old, into his building's courtyard, where they dropped the purse before being apprehended by police and arrested. The woman's purse, which contained $75 in cash and several credit cards, was returned to her, thanks to the valiant doorman looking out for his neighborhood.
As financial crimes and scams are on the rise, checking one's bank statements often has become more of a necessity than ever before. A 74-year-old Upper West Side resident learned that the hard way when he received a statement from Chase Bank informing him of several suspicious withdrawals. An unknown person had taken a total of $21,896 from the man's checking and savings accounts in three separate incidents and had apparently used the money to pay Sears and Capitol One credit card bills taken out in the victim's name, unbeknownst to him.
Cleaning Up Jewelry
A local woman reported to police that she suspected two men whom she had hired to clean her carpets had also absconded with some pricey jewelry. The woman said that the two men from a local carpet cleaning service had come to her home on West 81st Street last Tuesday, and on Wednesday, she discovered she was missing two items that had been in a jewelry box in her bedroom, where one of the men had been working. The victim had an appraisal report for her diamond tennis bracelet, valuing it at $8,387, and a store receipt for her gold crystal necklace, showing she had paid $9,587 for it. Police have not made any arrests yet.
Two people living at the same West End Avenue address filed separate police reports last week to report that they had both been ripped off. Each told police that an unknown person had stolen, forged and cashed two checks from their respective accounts. The man reported that two consecutive checks from his Citibank account for $2,760 and $3,200 were written and cashed at an unknown location without his knowledge. The woman reported that two consecutive checks for $2,600 and $3,225 from her Chase account met the same fate. Police reports did not specify any suspects or say whether the police are looking for one person.
Persistence Doesn't Pay
Last Friday, a 14-year-old boy was walking from a bus stop toward West 81st Street when two unknown men approached him and asked him for the time. When the boy responded, the men asked to see his phone, and the boy responded that he didn't have one and kept walking. The men followed him, putting their arms around him in a not-too-friendly way and quietly informing their target that one of them had a gun and another had a knife. When they again demanded the boy's phone as well as his wallet, the victim was forced to empty his pockets to prove that he did not, in fact, have either and that they had picked the wrong person to rob. The perps finally got the message and left the boy alone.
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