West Side Crime Watch

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Online Scammer

Last week, a woman put up a Craigslist ad to sell some of her furniture. She received a response and a check for $2,830, well over her asking price, from a man who instructed her to keep a portion as payment and wire the balance to his shipping company. Lo and behold, the check bounced, the victim couldn't stop her wire transfer and she lost her money.

Unpleasant Homecoming

An Upper West Side woman returned home from a trip to Boston to find her $10,000 Cartier watch and $15,000 earrings missing from a tray on her bureau. She reported that her bedroom was unlocked but that only her building manager and cleaning lady had access to the apartment.

Sneaky Tool Thief

An independent contractor for the Department of Parks and Recreation reported that he had stored several pricey tools and an air compressor worth $12,000 in a locked facility in Central Park. When he returned to retrieve them, he found the deadbolt cut and everything gone.

Impersonating Impostor

An unknown man entered a Bank of America branch earlier this month and attempted to withdraw $6,500 in cash from an account that evidently did not belong to him. The man knew his intended victim's checking account number, PIN and Social Security number, and had a phony New Jersey driver's license. When the teller asked for additional identification, the fake fled. The lucky almost-victim told police that his debit card had never been out of his possession.

Armed Stickup

On Thursday, Jan. 19, at about 9 p.m., a woman was walking on West End Avenue near West 63rd Street when a masked man approached her from behind, pointed a gun at her chest and told her, "Give me your phone and your bag" and "Shut the [expletive] up." The woman handed over her belongings and ran in the opposite direction to safety. The suspect is described as a light-skinned male, 5-foot-4, 140 pounds, wearing dark clothing.

Trouble in Paradise

A man let his girlfriend into his apartment to pick up some things that belonged to her, then asked her to leave. When she refused, he called the police, which prompted her to finally make an exit. After she left, however, the man noticed that a $5,000 gold bracelet, $500 in cash and a framed $50 bill had also vacated the premises.

Electronics Junkie

A woman came home last Friday and discovered her apartment in disarray and several items missing. A thief made off with her Nook e-reader, a $400 Sony camera, an iPod Nano and a $150 Canon camera, as well as several pieces of metal jewelry. Police at the scene said that an upstairs window had a weak lock and showed signs of a possible forced entry.

Teenage Phone Snatcher

A woman was walking on Amsterdam Avenue near West 73rd Street when a 15-year-old male in a black hoodie and black backpack snuck up behind her and snatched her iPhone out of her hand before running off. The victim chased him a short distance before losing sight of her robber and her phone. The suspect is described as light-skinned, 4-foot-10, 100 pounds.

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