Crime Watch

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PICKPOCKET PANDEMIC The Upper East Side's 19th Police Precinct warns locals that there has been a large number of pickpocketing thefts on buses in the neighborhood, particularly along Madison Avenue. Pickpockets are bumping into riders on the bus and secretly stealing belongings. To combat such thefts, NYPD recommends the following: Use handbags with zippers and locks, and never carry wallets in back pockets. Beware of loud arguments or commotions that may be staged to distract commuters as their pockets are picked. If you are unnecessarily bumped or crowded on public transportation, be aware that you might be positioned for pickpocketing. If your pocket is picked, yell out immediately to warn the driver or conductor, and alert everyone else that there's a pickpocket on board. TRAFFIC DISPUTE A young driver got into a fight with another driver that ended in blows on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The reason the two confronted each other was unspecified, but they began arguing around 1 p.m. at the corner of Third Avenue and East 79th Street. The argument escalated into a brawl, resulting in a bloody nose for the young driver, a 22-year-old. The other driver fled the scene in a truck, and is now wanted for assault. Two New Yorkers witnessed the fight, and one of them managed to capture it on video. WORSE TRAFFIC DISPUTE Unrelated to the above incident, another punching fit erupted from a traffic dispute at York Avenue and East 87th Street on the same day, Nov. 28. At around 2:15 p.m., a vehicle clipped the elbow of a 50-year-old pedestrian as he was crossing the street's crosswalk. It was the vehicle's middle-aged driver who was angriest, though, because he reportedly got out of the car, grabbed the pedestrian by the throat and unleashed a barrage of punches on him, injuring his right shoulder and ear. This driver fled the scene, too, and remains at large, wanted for assault. PURSE SWIPE A young Upper West Sider was enjoying a night at a bar on Saturday when her purse was snatched. The 29-year-old had hung her purse on a hook near where she was sitting at the Second Avenue restaurant around 10 p.m. She then went to the bathroom and mingled for half an hour, after which she returned to her seat to find the purse missing. Asking around to see if anyone had seen someone snatch it, she found the purse on the restaurant's floor by some tables. When she looked inside, she discovered that her iPhone and wallet were missing. The wallet contained $40 cash and various credit cards, all of which she canceled. FAILED SHOPLIFTING ATTEMPT A worker at a cosmetics store on East 86th Street witnessed a shoplifting attempt on Saturday. At around 4:30 p.m., a 67-year-old woman entered the store and began walking around and sneakily emptying boxes, placing their contents in her shopping bag. The items included facial cleaning foams and firming agents, worth over $1,000 in total. Then, the woman attempted to walk out of the store without paying for anything. The witness reported the theft, and the woman was arrested for grand larceny.

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