By Megan Bungeroth
After his online bank statement informed him that someone had purchased a British Airways flight for $1,602.76 using his account, a local man came to the precinct to report some other suspicious activity. At the end of January, he received a call from Ticketmaster telling him that there had been an attempt to purchase tickets to a sporting event using his bank card, which he denied and reported to Ticketmaster's fraud department. However, he didn't call the police at the time. With the unplanned vacation tip-off, the man began to suspect that he was the victim of identity theft at the hands of a waitress. He remembered dining at a French restaurant months ago, and that the unknown waitress had held his New York state driver's license and his Wells Fargo Visa card for over two hours-plenty of time to copy down the relevant info and start planning a stolen getaway.
On Monday at 3:15 p.m., a man walked into a Citibank branch on Columbus Avenue and approached a teller window. He passed a note demanding money, muttering "Hurry" as the teller gathered the cash together, but the would-be thief apparently got too impatient and suddenly left on foot, without the loot. Police are still looking for the suspect.
A mother and her young son went to see a movie at the Loew's theater on Broadway last Thursday, and mom plopped her purse on the empty seat next to her. She was distracted by her squirmy son and didn't glance at the bag for about an hour; when she did, it was gone, as were her $200 iPhone, $99 sunglasses, $100 bag of makeup and all her money and credit cards.
A 23-year-old college student wanted to sublet his apartment and listed it as available for $2,300 a month on his school's website. A woman contacted him, interested in renting the apartment. Then she "accidentally" sent a check for $3,650, she informed the student, and asked him to wire back the difference to her. He wired her $2,400 via Western Union, and when her check arrived via FedEx the next day, it bounced. The victim told police that he has no way to get back in touch with the scammer, but suspects that she's in Turkey.
An employee at a Sprint store on Broadway was conducting inventory last week when he realized that four HTC Evo phones, worth $400 each, were missing and unaccounted for. When the store checked its security footage, they noticed a man opening a drawer and lifting the phones right out while several possible accomplices distracted employees.
A student was standing on the corner outside Fordham University at West 60th Street and Columbus Avenue when a man ran past him and snatched his $700 iPhone right out of his hands. The perp was out of sight before the victim could try to pursue him.
A visitor from New Jersey parked her 2007 Dodge Nitro on West 85th Street on Wednesday afternoon, and when she returned a short time later, saw the rear door hanging open. She could not remember if she had locked the car, but she certainly noticed that her $1,000 laptop, computer bag, tools and Kodak camera had been stolen.
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