Archive for the tag 'thieves'

Vandals broke in to at least seven cars on Hampton Avenue in Manhattan Beach last night, leaving shattered glass and debris scattered across the sidewalks.

The incidents occurred in the middle of the night, with seven cars hit on Hampton Avenue between Coleridge Street and Brighton 14th Street, reports resident Zvi G., who sent in these photos of the leftovers.

Police were seen on-scene with car owners this morning. Zvi was not a victim and could not say if any items were taken from the cars.

Car break-ins have plagued the neighborhood for some time, and remains one of the toughest challenges for the 61st Precinct according to its commander, Captain John Chell.

The incident follows on the heels of a previous rash of break-ins in the neighborhood just two weeks ago, when several cars on Shore Boulevard, Hampton Avenue and Emmons Avenue were hit. Earlier this year, several cars were broken into in Homecrest, and last year and in 2010, large sprees occurred on the poorly-lit Shore Parkway streets.

Chell discussed the issue at the most recent 61st Precinct Community Council meeting, reminding residents that the police will continue to do their best, but residents also need to step it up by not leaving items – no matter how small – inside the car, and especially not in open view.

“We, collectively, I think we’re all guilty. We run to the store, running late to be home, we leave our bag in the car and we make mistakes. And it kind of hurts us,” Chell said at the meeting.

View more photos of last night’s break-ins.

Police are hunting for the three individuals photographed above. All three are wanted in connection to a grand larceny.

The theft happened on Friday, November 30, in front of 2214 Avenue R.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact Crime Stoppers. All callers to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous. Crime Stoppers can be reached at 1-800-577-TIPS, via the website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. published surveillance video yesterday that shows a white male who appears to be in his 20s, going down the street checking cars for unlocked doors.

The incident occurred on April 9, shortly after 4:00 a.m. on Melba Court in Gerritsen Beach.

In the second of the two videos (below), the supect finds an unlocked vehicle, gets in, rummages through it and takes a few items before moving on.

This is a reminder to always lock the doors to your vehicles and your homes!

If you recognize the suspect, contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit

Surveillance video of April 22 theft.

Surveillance video via NY Post

Authorities have nabbed a man they say stole many of the 30 manhole covers in the last two months in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

The New York Post reports that they’ve arrested Andrew Modica, 46, in connection with the theft of Con Edison’s 320-pound cast iron covers, which he confessed to selling for about 12 1/2 to 15 centers per pound – or approximately $40 each. They cost the company $200 each to replace.

He was busted yesterday, when officers pulled him over in a stolen pickup truck near his home on 67th Street and 21st Avenue in Bensonhurst. He is charged with criminal possession of stolen property and criminal impersonation – the latter due to the fact that he dressed as a Con Edison worker in the course of his crimes.

According to the Post, Modica stole to fuel his addiction to crack, cocaine and heroin.

Source: niznoz/Flickr

Con Edison issued a press release yesterday, informing New Yorkers that thieves have stolen more than 30 manhole covers in the last two months, leaving pedestrians and cars to deal with large gaping holes in the ground. They wrote:

Brazen thieves are endangering New Yorkers by stealing manhole covers at an alarming rate, and Con Edison is asking customers to help catch those responsible.

More than 30 manhole covers have been stolen in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx since early March, presumably by thieves selling the covers for scrap metal, and leaving lethal holes in streets and sidewalks. Con Edison is working closely with the NYPD on the problem.

“Stealing manhole covers is dangerous,” said Milovan Blair, Con Edison Vice President for Brooklyn-Queens Electric Operations.”Anyone who steals these covers creates a serious hazard for pedestrians and motorists.”

The company said witnesses have described individuals dressed in utility apparel, but without any Con Edison or other utility markings, prying open manhole covers using a car jack, loading the covers onto pick-up trucks, and then driving away.

The company said anyone who spots suspicious individuals working near manholes, or removing the covers, should call 911 immediately. They should also report any open manholes – even if they are barricaded – to Con Edison at 1-800-75CONED

According to the New York Times, 30 in two months is quite an alarming number given that, in a normal year, only two or three disappear. They also note that scrapper might get $30 from a dealer willing to take in obviously stolen goods, but Con Edison pays about $200 for the lids. The rise in costs, of course, are likely to be passed on to consumers.

One tipster, Auxil B., got in touch with Sheepshead Bites to let us know this scourge has already hit the neighborhood. A manhole cover recently went missing on East 28th Street, between Avenue V and Avenue W.


The suspect.

Video stills of the suspect exiting one of the pharmacies after robbing it. (Source: NYPD via

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.


Kings Bay pharmacy, Sheepshead Bay

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)

Apothecaries, beware.

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.”

A repeat robber of Bay Quick Mart at Sheepshead Bay Road and East 15th Street tried to make a quick getaway, but ended up in handcuffs this afternoon.

Around 2:30 p.m. today, the elderly thief tried to swipe a couple of papers from the newly opened storefront. He made off down Sheepshead Bay Road towards East 14th Street, with clerks in hot pursuit. Unluckily for him, the clerk caught up and dragged him back to the store, and police arrived shortly thereafter.

The clerk told Sheepshead Bites that the old man is there every day since their opening months ago, stealing newspapers, magazines and leftover change before taking off.

As police rummaged through the man’s pockets and bags after they handcuffed him, they pulled out a container of what appeared to be drugs. They took him to the precinct at around 3:00 p.m.

ABC Local Eyewitness News reports that the Just In Time Pharmacy on Knapp Street, along with a number of other stores in Brooklyn and Queens, was robbed twice by a pair of gun-wielding thugs.

The robberies occurred on Tuesday, April 7, 2009 and Saturday, May 30, 2009. In both incidents, the robbers entered the store and forced the workers to hand over cash and drugs held in storage. Frightened employees followed the instructions of the gun-wielding thieves and violence was avoided both times.

One of the supervising pharmacists told us:

In the first incident, all the workers were here in the store. They [the thieves] walked into the door 20 minutes after the store had opened up. One guy remained in the front, and a customer was right behind them. One of the guys stood right next to the customer. The other guy walked directly up to the front and put a gun to the cashier and told her not to panic and give him everything that he wants. He said that we won’t get hurt.

In the second incident, I wasn’t there, but thieves were a lot more aggressive than the first time and put the workers on the floor, then said, “you know the procedure”. That’s how we knew they were the same guys as before. They were mainly interested in the narcotics.

Since the incidents have occurred, this Sheepshead Bay community-minded pharmacy has taken extra measures to ensure the safety of their employees and customers.

Their video system installed captured the two robbers, but was not a deterrent to their second crime, so store owners have added a buzzer system and bulletproof glass. You can see video of the thieves robbing another store on the Eyewitness News website.

Let’s hope that customers are not deterred from entering the store, now that they have to ring a bell. This full-service pharmacy has been operating six days a week since 2004, providing customers with their medications, blood pressure checks, and everything else you need in a local drug store.

So if you find yourself at the crossroad where Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Sheepshead Bay meet, stop in and show them your support.

Just In Time Pharmacy
2126 Knapp Street
Brooklyn, NY 11229
located between Ave U & Ave V
(718) 332-5474
Open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. everyday, except Sunday

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