Crime Watch

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Compiled by Adel Manoukian

Bless This Theft

A 64-year old woman who only spoke Chinese was approached by three young women on Canal Street who told the victim that she needed to have her money and jewelry blessed to ward off evil spirits. The victim, amazingly, brought all her cash and 23 pieces of gold jewelry, worth a whopping $60,000 in all, to a location they specified on White Street. While there, the thieves supposedly blessed her valuables, but really swiped them out of her bag and replaced them with newspapers and a bottle of water. The perpetrators then had the audacity to tell the unsuspecting woman to wait a week before opening the bag, at which point she reported the crime to police.

Designer Handbag Theft

Some crimes take a lot of effort and teamwork. Three people recently stole a $1,295 handbag from a designer store on Spring Street. In the heist, a female team member first went into the store and, while perusing the wares, casually moved the bag to one side of a display table and promptly left the store. After the woman left, a fellow thief-this time a man-came in and picked up the purse. Police are also looking for a third male suspect in the crime, but it is unclear what role he played in this group theft.

Be Cautious When You Eat Lunch

We've heard of dine and dash, but not this way. A 25-year-old woman eating lunch in a restaurant on Fifth Avenue had her wallet stolen right behind her back, as her purse was slung over her chair. The thief stole a number of cards and items from her purse, worth a total of $1,515, and charged $1,300 on her credit cards.

A similar incident occurred a day before, when a 49-year-old woman was having lunch in a downtown café and her wallet was stolen from her purse, which was on the back of her chair. When she called her credit card company to report it, they informed the woman that the thief had already spent $2,450 at a retail store.

Yet Another iTheft

Earlier this month, a 31-year-old woman was standing in front of a coffee shop on West Houston Street with a friend when two women attacked her, stealing the victim's iPhone, worth around $500, then fleeing in a car. Police say the victim's shoulder was bruised in the attack and she had a few scratches on her body.

Two-Wheeled iTheft

Even keeping your bag on you can't guarantee it won't be stolen. As a 33-year-old woman was walking up West Broadway, a thief riding by on his bike managed to reach out and grab her bag. The sack contained a $1,200 Macbook Air laptop, an iPad 2 worth $499 and prescription medication, totaling $1,849 in stolen goods

A Shopper's Wallet Goes Missing

When we go shopping, we expect to spend most of our money ourselves, but this wasn't the case for a 39-year-old woman who was recently shopping downtown. The woman told police that while looking at clothes at a store, she absentmindedly left her wallet in her shopping cart. She noticed her wallet was missing when she went to check out. Thankfully, no charges were made on her cards before she cancelled them.

Costumed Capers

When the regular old black ski mask doesn't do the trick, some criminals turn to costumes for their illegal antics. Two men in their forties, who were posing as police officers, pushed a 24-year-old man against a wall. As one removed his wallet, the other acted as a lookout at the Canal Street subway station in Soho. While one fled the scene on foot, the other was successfully arrested by police and the $40 that had been stolen out of the young man's wallet was returned.

Cell Phone Theft

As a 17-year-old man was standing on the corner of South and Whitehall streets, when two 18-year-old men jumped him. One of them kicked the man to the ground, while the other took his $500 Blackberry. The pair walked away, leaving the victim with injuries to one eye and scrapes on the back of his neck and elbows.

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