Police Blotter, January 18, 2012

Killed on F.D.R. Dr.
Meddi Kabbaj, 45, the owner of a men’s clothing boutique, 20 Peacocks, at 20 Clinton St., was fatally injured Wed., Jan. 11, around 11:20 p.m. when he jumped out of a cab on the F.D.R. Dr. at 96th St. and was struck by an oncoming minivan. The cab driver told police that he picked up the victim on Avenue B near E. Sixth St. and headed to his residence on W. 162nd St. Kabbaj, who had been drinking, apparently lost patience at the bumper-to-bumper traffic at 96th St., and leaped out of the cab without paying the $17 fare. Kabbaj started crossing the southbound lane at 102nd St. when he was hit. The minivan driver remained at the scene and was not charged. Kabbaj was taken to Metropolitan Hospital in critical condition and died the next afternoon.

 Beauty-aids bust
An employee at Sephora, 555 Broadway, spotted a woman stuffing 20 boxes of cosmetics valued at $1,168 into her shopping bag at 7:35 p.m. Sat., Jan. 14, and trying to walk out without paying. The suspect, Alba Carrasquero, 26, was charged with larceny.

Greenhouse effects
Two patrons of Greenhouse, the club at 150 Varick St., had their wallets picked from their trouser back pockets on the same day. A New Jersey man, 20, lost his wallet to a thief in the crowded bar around 12:30 a.m. Mon., Jan. 16. Two hours later, a Connecticut man, 21, had his pocket picked and discovered later that the thief had made unauthorized purchases of $87 at McDonald’s and $80 at two gas stations.

On Fri., Jan. 13, a French resident of Manhattan walked into Tribeca’s First Precinct police station and reported that he was at a party at Greenhouse the night before New Year’s Eve when a thief made off with his jacket, which he had hung up. There was no explanation for the delayed report.

 Bag found empty
A Philadelphia woman, 27, told police she had hung up her bag while having a drink at Merce Bar, 151 Mercer St., at 7:30 p.m. Wed., Jan. 11, and discovered 20 minutes later that it had been stolen. Around 3 a.m. she got a phone call from Fanelli’s Cafe, at 94 Prince St., around the corner saying the bag turned up there. However, her laptop computer was gone and $200 in unauthorized charges had been made on a bank card.

Fraud was intercepted
A Brooklyn woman, 29, told police she hung her bag on the back of her chair and was watching the Giants beat the Packers in the Reade St. Pub, 135 Reade St., on Sunday night Jan. 15 and discovered after the game that the bag was gone. She learned later that two attempts to use her debit card had been denied.

At the Starbucks at 195 Broadway on Sunday afternoon, a Swedish visitor, 38, had her bag stolen from the back of her chair.

A woman shopping at Old Navy, at 503 Broadway, forgot to pick up her wallet at the checkout counter around 8 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 12, and phoned the following morning but the wallet with $40 cash and credit cards was gone. An unauthorized charge of $150 had been made at the Muji USA store two blocks away at 455 Broadway.

West Village ruckus
Eric Nederlander, 46, a theater producer and son of a Broadway theater owner, was arrested for entering his girlfriend’s apartment on W. 12th St. while she was sleeping on Thurs., Jan. 12. The complaint said he pulled the victim’s hair and berated her in violation of a court order of protection.  He was freed on $50,000 bail. His attorney, Evan Lipton, said there were “serious issues undermining the complainant’s credibility,” according to a Daily News item.

 Kiss & Fly & caught
Taksim Chowdhury, 23, was spotted in a bathroom at Kiss & Fly, the club at 409 W. 13th St., trying to flush the contents of bags stolen from two women patrons down a toilet around 3:06 a.m. Sat., Jan. 14, police said. He was charged with larceny and possession of stolen property. In addition to credit cards and wallets of the victims, he was in possession of a victim’s cellphone and a small quantity of marijuana, police said.

The Sixth Precinct cabaret unit arrested Maggie Assael, 18, at 2:30 a.m. Fri., Jan. 18, for using a fake New Jersey driver’s license to get into Kiss & Fly. She was charged with using a forged instrument and with bribery for offering the arresting officer an unspecified amount of money to tear up the summons. Assael’s bribe offer was recorded on tape, police said.

Had a gravity knife
Sixth Precinct police were watching a suspect peering into cars parked on Cornelia St. around 1:20 a.m. Sat., Jan. 14, and stopped him for questioning at Sixth Ave. Finding a gravity knife (a knife openable with a wrist flick) in his possession, they charged Orlando Fabiani, 30, with weapon possession.

Phone snatchers
Transit police arrested Andre Johnson, 24, in the W. Fourth St. I.N.D. subway station around 6 p.m. Tues., Jan. 10, for snatching the cell phone of a woman who got on the southbound E train at 14th St. Police on the W. Fourth St. station platform arrested Johnson as he fled the train.

Police arrested Marcus Wright, 27, for swiping a phone from a woman on the northbound Seventh Ave. subway station platform at 14th St. shortly before 10 a.m., Sat., Jan.14. A witness chased and caught the suspect and held him for police. Wright was characterized as a “transit recidivist,” with multiple convictions of offenses in the system.

 Arson arrest
Police arrested Grant Hand, 19, at 2:30 a.m. Fri., Jan. 13, at the northeast corner of Washington and Bank Sts. as he was fleeing from a trash fire in front of Doma restaurant. He was charged with arson for setting the fire and an earlier one on Jan. 11 in the same place.

 $1 million ID theft
Three brothers who owned Greenwich Village smoke shops were arrested Thurs., Jan. 12, for taking part in a scheme with three other men and a woman to steal identities in order to steal more than $1 million in merchandise and store credits.

The Village smoke shop owners, Ali Abdul Hussein, 33; Mahmoud Abdul Hussein, 27, known as “Mike”; and Fadal Abdul Hussein, 22, known as “Tony”, are charged with making counterfeit drivers’ licenses that were used in the ID theft. They sold the fake ID’s out of Smoke Express, 29 W. Eighth St., until the store was closed in 2010 for selling a fake ID to an undercover officer. The Husseins also operated out of a Thompson St. shop, according to the complaint.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are conducting the investigation.

Car stolen
A Brooklyn man, 40, who parked his gray 2010 Hyundai sedan at the curb in front of Film Forum on W. Houston St. around 7 p.m. Wed., Jan. 12, returned three hours later to find the car had been stolen.

– Albert Amateau

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