East Side Crime Watch
Very Sticky Fingers
Police from the 19th Precinct arrested a man on burglary charges this week, closing a borough-wide pattern. The man was discovered inside a fast-food donut shop in the early morning, before the store opened, with a screwdriver and flashlight (what the cops classify as burglary tools) in his possession. He supposedly gained entrance through the back of the store. Police suspect that the man is also responsible for a series of similar robberies hitting fast-food joints around Manhattan. Each time, the man would sneak into the establishment in the early morning hours and make off with whatever cash from registers and tip pools, as well as payroll checks, in one instance, he could find. Luckily, though, he left the donuts alone.
Pedestrian Accidents Up
The 19th Precinct reminds residents to exercise caution when crossing streets, especially considering the uptick in pedestrian-vehicle accidents. There was a 19.6 percent spike in 2011 compared with incidences in 2010, and for the month of January so far, there have been 7 percent more pedestrian accidents than were reported last year by this time. Police say that the accidents are often the fault of the person on the street, not in the car. They caution people to stay aware of their surroundings and unplug from headphones and other electronic devices when crossing streets. They also point out that jaywalking only increases traffic congestion as drivers brake for errant crossers, resulting in more aggressive driving that puts others at risk.
Keep Your Eyes on the Bag
One of the most common crimes on the Upper East Side continues to be a problem as overly trusting residents plop their bags down on coffee shop tables and wander away to order extra large skim mochas, surprised to find their wallets, keys, laptops, phones or entire bags missing upon their return. A woman at a popular coffee chain reported her wallet missing last week around 10:30 p.m. after she left her bag on the table unattended.
Thwarted Bank Scam
Police arrested a man suspected of using his position as an employee of a bank to steal the identifying information of a customer and attempting to use it to withdraw money from the intended victim's account. The police were able to intervene before he made off with any dough, and the man whose information he used was notified of the possible identity theft.
After enjoying drinks and paying in cash at an Upper East Side nightclub on Monday, a woman began throwing bottles at the bar's plate glass window, smashing it to pieces and fleeing the scene. The window will cost $3,000 to replace, and the bar so far has no way of identifying the woman.
The owner of a local dry cleaner came into his store last Saturday morning to find the glass on his front door shattered. There was also $200 missing from the register.
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