Archive for the tag 'gravesend'

The suspects. (Source: NYPD via NBC)

The suspects. (Source: NYPD via NBC)

More details have emerged in the bank robbery spree we told you about earlier this week, in which four banks were hit in a span of just two hours.

Originally, it was reported that police were looking for one suspect in a case that saw robberies or attempted robberies from Gravesend to Bergen Beach.

Now police say they’re seeking two men for the Monday afternoon heists.

The men hit the four banks between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., getting away with a $6,300 haul.

NBC reports that the suspects entered each bank and gave the teller a note demanding money.

The suspects made off with $1,800 from Capital One at 2102 Ralph Avenue, and $4,500 from Santander Bank at 301 Avenue U in Gravesend.

They also hit Chase Bank at 1987 Flatbush Avenue and Northfield Bank at 1123 Kings Highway, but tellers refused to cooperate at those locations.

Surveillance video captured the above images of the suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

The location of Santander bank at 302 Avenue U, where the first robbery took place.  (Source: Google Maps)

The location of Santander bank at 302 Avenue U, where the first robbery took place. (Source: Google Maps)

Cops are hunting for a man described as black, approximately 6-foot-2-inches tall, with a scar on his face in connection with a string of bank robberies that happened across Southern Brooklyn yesterday. The suspect was wearing a black hoodie at the time of the robberies.

Police say the man robbed four banks between Gravesend and Canarsie within just a few hours, according to News 12.

The spree began at Santander bank at 301 Avenue U, just off McDonald Avenue, at 2:30 p.m. He then went on to Ralph Avenue’s Capital One bank, hit a Flatbush Avenue Chase bank, and ended with a Northfield bank on Kings Highway.

In at least one of the cases, he passed tellers a note demanding money. It’s not yet known how much he made off with.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Source: NYScanner/Twitter

Source: NYScanner/Twitter

Police successfully and safely talked down a man who threatened to jump from an Avenue X apartment building yesterday, and took him into custody for psychiatric evaluation.

First responders converged on the scene at East 3rd Street and Avenue X after receiving the call at approximately 3:00 p.m. yesterday.

The man was on a seventh floor fire escape, threatening to take his life.

Emergency personnel from the NYPD, FDNY and the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit were on scene. Traffic was rerouted as Avenue X was closed off from Ocean Parkway to East 2nd Street, and the B1 ceased running.

The rescue operation lasted more than an hour, but ultimately the man was taken into custody and brought to Coney Island Hospital, the NYPD confirmed.

truck-exposing

The pickup truck used in the flashing spree (Source: NYPD)

Cops have arrested a Sea Gate man for exposing himself to several young girls in Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay within the last two weeks.

The story first made headlines last week, when cops revealed they were hunting a man driving a white pickup truck who they believed were responsible for three separate flashing incidents that occurred within the span of 15 minutes.

The spree took place on Monday, March 17, between 7:25 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. The villain chatted up an 11-year-old girl on West 9th Street and Avenue O before flashing his genitals and running off.

Minutes later he turned up on West 7th Street and Bay Parkway and followed a 14-year-old girl into an apartment building, and exposed himself again. Finally, he approached a 13-year-old girl on West 6th Street and 65th Street and again provided a generous but unwanted view of his privates.

Apparently, that wasn’t all. Brooklyn Daily is reporting that police believe the same man flashed a group of 13-year-old girls on the corner of East 24th Street and Gravesend Neck Road on March 11. There is a heavily used playground at that intersection, and an elementary school a block away. The outlet reports that the girls approached the intersection when they came into view of the suspect in the pickup truck, sitting with genitals in public view.

The suspect is charged with burglary, public lewdness, exposure of person and acting in a manner injurious to a minor.

Source: FSSP via Twitter

Source: FSSP via Twitter

A new group has launched with the goal of expanding the services of shomrim, or Jewish civilian patrol, into a broad swath of Gravesend.

Community Safety & Security (CSS) is an affiliate of the Sephardic Community Federation, and is working on a recruitment drive to bring volunteers to the well-established Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, which could begin patroling the area.

The borders of the area under consideration are Avenue I to the north, Avenue Y to the south, Coney Island Avenue to the east and McDonald Avenue to the west.

“CSS is a new organization that will work to keep our communities safe by establishing initiatives to help reduce crime and increase public safety. We hope to work with the public, law enforcement and community watch groups to achieve these goals,” said Avi Spitzer, executive director of the Sephardic Community Federation.

Spitzer said they already have a core group of volunteers, and hope to build up operations and activities over time. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has offered to help the group identify potential sources of funds for their project. CSS is headed by Jack Cayre, the scion of developer and real estate magnate Joseph Cayre.

CSS is not formally affiliated with Flatbush Shomrim.

Flatbush Shomrim Executive Coordinator Bob Moskowitz said that they have not started patrolling the new area, nor have they made a decision on whether or not they will.

“It’s under consideration right now. It’s not a done deal. There’s a lot of logistics involved,” Moskowitz said. “I’d like to help them out, but we have to look at it and see if we can do it. But we can’t help every community that asks us to. Right now it’s still up in the air. If it’s something that’s doable, we’d love to.”

Spitzer said the goal of CSS’s effort right now is to bolster shomrim’s manpower with volunteers from the proposed coverage area, which would provide the resources needed for patrols.

Flatbush Shomrim was founded in 1991 by now-Councilman Chaim Deutsch. Shomrim volunteers patrol the neighborhoods in marked and unmarked vehicles, calling 911 when they see an emergency, monitoring the activities of people they believe to be suspicious, and calling for other volunteers if they feel the need. They can often be the first to respond to a scene of a low-level incident, where they can make a citizen’s arrest if necessary.

Community shomrim patrols have also been the source of controversy. Critics say they can sometimes be overzealous in their duties, inflame ethnic tensions and, at times, an obstacle to police investigations within the Jewish community. Some patrols receive taxpayer funds and resources through the offices of elected officials.

If you’d like to volunteer for shomrim patrols, contact CSS at (347) 781-4679 or by email at CSS@SephardicFederation.org

61st-precinct

Sheepshead Bay Police Precinct – now the NYPD’s 61st Precinct – was once located on Avenue U and East 15th Street. I stumbled across the photo above and set about doing some research.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t learn when it was built or torn down and, quite frankly, stopped giving a damn once I found this amazing account of the extraordinary bravery and heroism of the local police force that occupied that stately building.

View the 1915 clipping (Click to enlarge)

View the 1915 clipping (Click to enlarge)

The date was July 13, 1915. The scene was West 5th Street and Avenue U – now on the border of the current day 61st Precinct, but then firmly within its command.

Our valiant hero is named Cowboy Doody. Cowboy James Doody.

Some time prior to the incident to be recounted below, one James Murdock who resided at the scene set forth, had “been for a long time addicted to the habit of rearing goats.”

Indeed. His neighbors, no more understanding in those sepia-tinged days than they are today, complained to authorities. A lot. Mainly about the “near -fragrance” – and no, we haven’t gotten to Doody yet – “and plaintive sounds emanating from a barn on Murdock’s place.”

The courts fined him and fined him again, ultimately offering a choice – pay yet another hefty fine or go to jail. The crazy cat lady of his time, Murdock chose jail. He was principled. Why should he not own as many damned goats as he likes? Is this not America?

The authorities disagreed and off to the clink Murdock went, leaving “sixty-five goats of indiscriminate ages … practically without any guardianship watsoever.”

What happened next is best described by those intrepid reporters of The Washington Herald (yes, this made national news, and on page two no less):

He had lived alone and none of his neighbors thought it necessary to investigate the pleadings of the goats which resounded throughout Gravesend the whole night long.

With the coming of daylight the goats, having devoured all the interior fittings of the barn, walked right out through the wall on one side and permeated the entire neighborhood.

With ba-a-a-a and bleats of joy the goats proceeded on their work of devastation. The reidents were powerless. Many who sought to prevent the invasion of their premises were butted all over the place.

Butted all over the place! The carnage! The mayhem! Kings Plaza had nothing on the Gravesend streets of 1915.

What were the residents to do? Worry not, for this is the cue for our hero, Mounted Policeman James Doody, who appeared on the horizon and bellowed a mighty “Ki-ya!”

“Ki-ya!” he said. “Ki-ya!” as he “rode his fiery steed up and down and across the placid confines of Gravesend today, twirling his lasso above his head and ever and anon lassoing a goat.”

Our brave hero was not alone. Cowboy Doody – he was indeed a former cowboy, having “acquired said efficiency on the plains in the southwestern part of our country,” was assisted by “his associate centaurs of the Sheepshead Bay police precinct.”

But, alas, our Herald reports, “none of them could zip out ‘ki-ya’ with the penetra[ting] efficiency of James Doody.”

By noon the strange-eyed nuisance had abated. Doody and his centaurs corralled 42 goats into a barn behind the station photographed above.

Doody, with his “Ki-ya” and his no less valorous but less vocal assistants, were scattering out toward Sheepshead Bay, Flatbush, Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge in search of the most nimble and adventurous of the flock.

The legend of Cowboy Doody is new to us. But, this reporter has learned, his name to this day strikes fear into the black, freakish hearts of goats everywhere, and his mighty “Ki-ya!” brings, without exception, the following reaction from goats citywide:

Sleep Inn Hotel

Construction site for the Sleep Inn Hotel (Source: Amusing the Zillion)

Amusing the Zillion reported last week that Sleep Inn Hotel is now under construction on Stillwell Avenue and Avenue Z, just north of the Coney Island Creek, making it the first new hotel in the neighborhood in decades.

The site reports:

A sign on the construction fence says “Anticipated Completion: Fall 2015.” Mahesh Ratjani, one of the partners in the project, tells ATZ: “We are hoping to have it completed by the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015.” According to DOB records, a 12,989 square foot, four-story hotel will occupy the 13,000 square foot lot. Sleep Inn is a member of the Choice Hotels Group.

Documents on the Department of Buildings website show the hotel will have 53 guest rooms.

The problem is that the 2590 Stillwell Avenue lot, which was purchased in 2007 for $1.9 million, isn’t really part of Coney Island. ATZ says it’s the border of Gravesend and Bath Beach, and I’d agree. Regardless, it’s far flung from the amusement district, and ain’t the kind of hotel we were thinking when we heard hotels were coming to Coney Island.

112213gay.jpg

Surveillance video captured the suspect after one of his robberies. (Source: Gothamist)

A man believed to be behind as many as eight armed subway robberies was arrested after his latest mugging, which occurred at Gravesend’s Avenue U station on the F line.

CBS News reports:

Eric Gay, 43, of Brooklyn, is charged with three counts of robbery. Investigators believe he may be responsible for as many as eight muggings since Sunday.

As CBS 2′s Alice Gainer reported, each time, the suspect allegedly walked up to his victims, said he had a gun with a silencer and then robbed them.  However, they also said none of the victims actually saw the weapon the attacker claimed to have.

The attacks took place in the East Village, West Village, Queens and Brooklyn, police said.  Items the suspect stole ranged from iPods to cellphones, cash and MetroCards.

It was the Gravesend robbery that lead to his arrest. Gay allegedly robbed a man of an Android phone at the Avenue U station. Police tracked the phone and canvassed the area nearby, with the victim riding along. The witness spotted him, and cops made the bust.

Gay was taken to Kings County Hospital Center before being booked at the Brooklyn Robbery Squad. It’s unclear why he was hospitalized, and a follow-up by Gothamist returned no leads.

A map of the approximate outage area, where 7,724 households were affected. Those shaded red were restored within 20 minutes, while 201 customers in the purple-shaded area were without power until 9 a.m.

A map of the approximate outage area, where 7,724 households were affected. Those shaded red were restored within 20 minutes, while 201 customers in the purple-shaded area were without power until 9 a.m.

As many as 7,724 Con Edison customers along a broad swath of Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend and Manhattan Beach were left without power this morning after an electrical line snapped.

The first reports of power outages hit the utility company at 7:16 a.m., a Con Edison representative told Sheepshead Bites. The company was able to respond quickly, bringing power back online for 7,523 customers within 20 minutes. But another 201 customers, largely in Manhattan Beach, remained without power until 9 a.m.

The outage affected thousands of households between Avenue R and Oriental Boulevard, and between West 7th Street and Knapp Street. While most saw service restored quickly, Plumb Beach and Manhattan Beach residents from Voorhies Avenue to Oriental Boulevard, and from Pembroke Street to Brighton 11th Street saw the longest delays in restoring electricity.

Con Edison said a downed power line caused the outage, but has not yet said where the power line was, or what caused it to fail.

If you know the location of the downed power line, please share with us in the comments.

UPDATE (11:51 a.m.): Con Edison just informed us that the downed power line was on East 19th Street, just north of Voorhies Avenue. They still could not say what caused it to go down.

This home was on the market for $14 million last year, the borough’s highest price tag. (Source: Rich Caplan/nestseekers.com)

People with very deep pockets are shelling out serious dough to buy homes in Gravesend, breaking records for the most expensive properties in all of Brooklyn. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that homes in the community are sought out by observant Jews looking to live close to the neighborhood’s synagogues and community centers.

Gravesend, which has traditionally been a diverse, middle-class neighborhood, is seeing whopping spikes in some home sales, with some selling for more than $10 million. The Journal accounted for the huge price tags on homes and why it is happening now:

Brokers said prices hinge not only on how big a house is, but also on its proximity to area synagogues and Jewish community centers. They say it isn’t uncommon for buyers to purchase relatively modest or outdated houses in order to tear them down and build new residences that allow for easy walks on the Sabbath.

At present, the highest-priced listing in the area, according to real-estate listing website StreetEasy.com, is a seven-bedroom house on Ocean Parkway with an asking price of $8.99 million. The house was initially listed for $14 million in 2012, and if it had fetched that price it would have been one of the most expensive homes to ever sell in Brooklyn.

A number of homes in Gravesend have already been among the most expensive to ever sell in the borough: One house on Avenue S sold for $10.25 million in 2011; another on the same avenue sold for $11 million in 2003; and one on East 2nd Street went for $10.26 million in 2009.

Avi Spitzer, the executive director of the nonprofit Sephardic Community Federation, explained the phenomenon in an email to the Journal.
“Today Gravesend is the heart of the largest Sephardic Jewish community in the United States. The community has grown because we have built schools, synagogues, facilities and social service agencies to serve the community’s needs,” Spitzer said.
The Journal also elaborated on the history of how Gravesend became a hotspot for the Sephardic Jewish community and what the most in-demand blocks are:
Mr. Spitzer said the city’s Sephardic Jewish community moved from Manhattan’s Lower East Side to Bensonhurst, which borders Gravesend, in the early 1900s, and migrated to Gravesend in the 1940s. Approximately 30,000 Sephardic Jews live in the neighborhood, he said, and many more live in adjacent neighborhoods such as Midwood.
The most in-demand blocks in the neighborhood are concentrated in a small, tree-lined enclave from Avenue S to Avenue U, between McDonald and Coney Island avenues.

Ocean Parkway is the main thoroughfare running through the area.

While some price tags are skyrocketing, the median price for homes in Gravesend, $465,000, is still below the Brooklyn median, $495,000.

Still, it is remarkable how factors unrelated to geographical beauty and the architecture and size of homes can have minimal importance in driving a dwelling into multi-million dollar status.

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