Crime Watch

Written by Megan Finnegan Bungeroth on . Posted in Crime Watch West Side Spirit, West Side Spirit.


VP Catches Bank Fraud
The assistant vice president at an Upper West Side branch of Chase Bank caught on to a fraudulent check-cashing scheme after a suspect got away with her gambit at two other branches. On Monday, the perp walked into the third branch at 2:10 p.m. and attempted to cash a check for $1,800. Though she had an identification card, the teller questioned the woman and she eventually left without the check. When the bank’s assistant VP investigated, she discovered that the same person had cashed other fake checks, one for $1,900 at 12:31 p.m. in Harlem and one for $1,800 at another Upper West Side branch at 1:18 p.m., before her scam was detected.

Pricey Ring Vanishes
A 39-year-old resident of West End Avenue reported the possible theft of a very expensive ring last week. The woman told police that she took the ring off and placed it in a box in her closet at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26. When she returned to get the ring on Thursday at 7 p.m., it was missing. She said that the only person with access to it was a babysitter who was in the apartment for three hours earlier that day. The ring, which is uninsured, is a platinum diamond engagement ring with a 3.2 karat stone, worth a reported $55,000.

Motorcycle Heist
A man parked his black Suzuki motorcycle outside a West End Avenue address early Sunday morning. When he returned around 8 p.m. to retrieve it, the bike was gone. Video surveillance shows that around 4:30 a.m., a dark-colored minivan drove up to the curb and two men lifted the motorcycle into it and drove away onto West 75th Street. The 2005 model is worth $6,000.

Violent Mugging
On Tuesday, Sept. 25, at around 4:20 p.m., a 16-year-old boy was walking near Riverside Drive and West 79th Street when three unknown males approached him from behind. One kicked him the back of the knees and then the stomach, knocking him to the ground and saying, “Give me your phone and wallet, or I’ll kill you.” Another perp grabbed the boy’s belongings, including a $300 iPhone and his wallet with $32 in cash, and all three fled the scene.

Bank Robbery
A man walked into a Citibank branch on the Upper West Side at 10:25 a.m. on Sept. 25 and approached a teller. He passed a note to her demanding money and threatening to kill people in the back if she didn’t comply. The suspect, who is described as black, 5’9”, 150 pounds, with a beard and wearing a light blue shirt, jeans and white sneakers, asked for $50 and $100 bills and said, “If you don’t, I’ll shoot somebody.” The man got away with $3,725 in cash, fleeing on foot down Broadway.

Purse Thefts on the Rise
The 20th Precinct has seen a recent bump in thefts of unattended wallets and purses. Most of these crimes occur when a bag is left on the back of a chair or table unattended, and the victims don’t even realize their belongings are missing until they check for them. Police recommend that residents keep personal items close by at all times to prevent these crimes of opportunity.

Pizza Boy Turned Rapist
Just past 1 a.m. last Saturday, a 35-year-old woman awoke in her bed to an unknown man raping her. The perp was holding her down and covering her mouth with his hand, but she was able to fight him off with her hands and feet. The rapist fled the apartment, and the victim called the doorman of her West 61st Street building, who stopped and questioned the man. He turned out to be 16 years old and was in the building to deliver pizza to another apartment. After the doorman questioned him, the perp went back to his place of business, and police arrested him there shortly afterward. The New York Post and other outlets also reported that the boy had tried several apartments to find an open door and that his victim’s 7-year-old daughter was sleeping next to her during the attack.

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