Judging from a few reports we’ve received this morning, it appears the strong winds and heavy rains of Hurricane Irene were not enough to stop criminals.
One reader tells us that an assault and stabbing occurred sometime after midnight, on East 19th Street and Avenue U. We have no additional details about this incident.
Meanwhile, Ed Jaworski of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association writes to tell us that some
brave stupid thief weathered the storm last night for the simple purpose of breaking into cars. He writes:
Did car thieves take a break last night? Not on my block, East 28 St. At least one neighbor found his car broken into, had to happen during the height of the storm, everything was scattered about, but nothing missing. Not even the flashlight.
Have you heard about any crimes that happened during the storm? Tell us here!
Update (1:32 p.m.): Bloomberg said during a press conference this afternoon that overnight crime activity is below normal. There were 45 overnight arrests citywide, as opposed to an average of 345 overnight arrests on a normal night.
Steve Halfon (Source: NYDailyNews.com)
Reader Alina U. asked last night about a grisly looking crime scene in Midwood. Well, turns out a Gravesend coin dealer was ambushed and beaten to death near his shop, and then dumped about a mile away in Midwood.
The Daily News reports:
A Brooklyn coin dealer died Tuesday after a group of thieves pummeled him near his shop and dumped his battered body a mile away, police sources said.
Steve Halfon, 61, had just closed his shop, Liberty Coin Co. on Kings Highway in Gravesend, and was walking to his car when three men ambushed him just before 5:30 p.m., the sources said.
The men beat Halfon to a pulp, stuffed him in a black Volvo sedan and drove away, sources said. They dumped his body on East Seventh St. near Avenue N in Midwood and abandoned the car two blocks later, sources and a witness said.
“One guy gets out, covered in blood, and walks down the street like nothing happened,” said a witness. The suspect threw his bloody T-shirt, a Yankees hat and a gray hoodie in a sewer before running away with the two others, the witness said.
A passing motorist spotted Halfon’s body and called cops. He was taken to New York Community Hospital but couldn’t be saved.
No arrests have been made, and it’s unclear if the suspects took anything off Halfon. The incident occurred in the 66th Precinct.
Reader Michael S. wrote in to tell us about a number of car break-ins that occurred overnight, around Shore Parkway and Bedford Avenue. The scene sounds similar to that of April 2010, when dozens of cars were broken into in one night by a team of thieves. Here’s what Michael writes:
My car and a few other cars in the area got broken into overnight i was parked on Bedford and shore parkway the broke the rear passenger window and thats how they got into the trunk. The took everything xbox360, macbook pro, dslr camera, remote control gas car.. Hit the jackpot. Another car on the street was broken into as well. At the glass shop now and there a few people that had there cars broken into overnight seems to be a trend all cars with tints.
Not to rub salt into your wounds, Michael, but why on earth would you keep an Xbox 360, Macbook Pro, DSLR and other high-value stuff in your car? We write all the time about how even pennies in your cup holder or GPS suction cup rings on your windshield can be enough of a justification for a thief to break your window. It’s not a joke; we hear these incidents from the police all the time.
Please, readers, the 61st Precinct’s Midnight Conditions Unit may be doing a good job reducing incidents like this, but they can’t eliminate it. Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Especially when you’re parking on a dark street like Shore Parkway.
I have nothing to say about this.
A shameless Bonnie and Clyde team clipped a bunch of teddy bear centerpieces Friday from a sacred circumcision ceremony hosted by a Brooklyn city councilman, police said.
The daring theft came following the religious ceremony, called a bris, on Avenue T in Brooklyn for the 8-day-old twin grandchildren of Councilman Michael Nelson and his wife, Maureen.
“It really hurt a beautiful affair,” said the Sheepshead Bay councilman. “Everything was going so nicely.”
The brazen theft came as close to 100 guests ate in the ground-floor catering hall of the synagogue that hosted the bris.
Working together, the woman entered the catering hall and began collecting donations for charity while the man gathered the balloons and teddy bears that made up the centerpieces and took them upstairs.
“My wife asked me who they were,” Nelson said. “But I tried to be a nice guy and let them stay.”
Nelson said guests figured the pair were with the caterers, while the caterers assumed they were family members.
… Not only was the sticky-fingered partycrasher seen on video as he fled with the bears, but he left behind other gifts that included envelopes stuffed with cash.
Cops were examining the video to take a look at the uninvited guest, who Nelson said was wearing a yarmulke. His female accomplice was in traditional black garb, he said.
Read the full story from the Daily News.
Video stills of the suspect exiting one of the pharmacies after robbing it. (Source: NYPD via NYTimes.com)
Police yesterday nabbed the “drugstore cowboy,” a burglar who had been terrorizing pharmacies in Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park and Midwood. He last struck on Friday at the Kings Bay Chemist on Nostrand Avenue. He was arraigned today on multiple charges.
We’ll let the New York Times explain:
The former detective, Salvatore DelleCave, 36, was expected to be arraigned Wednesday night on a total of 55 charges of robbery, larceny, possession of drugs and stolen property, and menacing, stemming from five robberies in Marine Park and Sheepshead Bay, according to the district attorney’s office.
… The robber always managed to disappear quickly, leading some residents to theorize that he lived nearby. Mr. DelleCave lives near East 38th Street and Avenue T in Marine Park.
Mr. DelleCave, who once worked out of the 61st Precinct in Sheepshead Bay, retired on disability after separating his shoulder in 2007 while chasing robbery suspects, the police said.
The NYPD has issued a statement, suggesting that the former detective’s actions were likely driven by a dependency borne from the pain of his injury. They said:
A supervisor on the scene that night in September 2007 recalled that DellaCave, who has lost considerable weight since then, was in agonizing pain from the shoulder separation. Detectives are investigating as a motive for the robberies the possibility that DellaCave had become dependent on powerful painkillers since the incident and his subsequent retirement.
Source: Google Maps
We received word that Kings Bay Chemist Pharmacy at 3610 Nostrand Avenue was robbed at gunpoint just minutes ago. An employee at a neighboring business writes:
A customer just came in all shaken up saying she was in the pharmacy on nostrand and ave w and it was held up by a guy at gunpoint. he forced people to back and wanted oxycontin.
This sounds an awful lot like the “drugstore cowboy” we told you about earlier this month. That robber also burst into drugstores with a gun, ordered people to the rear, and demanded the highly-potent painkillers. He also hit Health Star Pharmacy, at 1422 Avenue U, and J Drugs on Avenue J, among others.
Health Star Pharmacy (Source: Google Maps)
A brazen, firearm-brandishing drugstore cowboy has been making the rounds through nearly half a dozen of Southern Brooklyn’s mom-and-pop pharmacies since March 3, demanding potent painkillers, including the highly addictive OxyContin, from terrified apothecaries, The New York Times is reporting.
Cloaking himself in a heavy winter coat, ski cap and blue jeans, the methods of the armed robber — whose most recent break-in was in Health Star Pharmacy, 1422 Avenue U in Homecrest — “are strikingly consistent” and are leading police to believe that the thief, possibly in search of his next fix, lives in the neighborhood.
Police have stepped up their efforts to catch the man, whose voice and conduct, according to a druggist at J Drugs on Avenue J, suggest that “he may have been an addict who was robbing to feed his addiction.”
Gerritsen Beach’s Knights of Columbus post was burglarized this morning, with thieves stealing thousands of dollars raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, GerritsenBeach.net reports.
The Knights of Columbus Rev. E. J. Matthews #5989 (2882 Gerritsen Avenue) also had money taken from the bar, as well as cameras, computers and raffle tickets.
We’ll have more information as it becomes available.
Source: Google Maps
Police are currently responding to a bank robbery at the Capital One Bank at 3090 Ocean Avenue, in the Waldbaum’s shopping center.
The incident was reported in the last 30 minutes or so, and the suspect is still on the loose. Police are looking for the suspect, who is described as a black male with facial hair, approximately 5′ 10″ in height and wearing a black and grey North Face jacket.
If you have any information, you can call (800) 577-TIPS (8477), text “TIP577″ (plus your message) to “CRIMES” (274637), or submit tips online.
This is breaking news story and we’ll have more information as it becomes available.
A scam artist is stalking the halls of several Gravesend apartment buildings, and is believed to be responsible for almost 20 robberies in the last two weeks.
Keep reading for details.