Police Blotter, Week of May 15, 2013

Ch-ch-chain of fool
Police arrested a man who allegedly robbed another man while following him home after both had attended a concert at Webster Hall.

The victim, 20, told officers that he and his friend got into a heated dispute with Andrew Soto, 22, as they were all leaving the popular E. 11th St. venue around 1 a.m. on Sun., May 12, and noticed that Soto began following them as they walked away. He claimed that Soto then attacked from behind while they were on Washington Place, just outside Washington Square Park, and ripped the chain from his neck before fleeing on foot.

Around 5 a.m., after the crime had been reported, an officer on patrol used the victim’s description to identify, stop and question Soto, and noticed the stolen chain sticking out of Soto’s pocket. Soto was charged with robbery.

Bubbly burglar fizzles
Employees of Catch, a multistory restaurant at 21 Ninth Ave. in the Meatpacking District that also includes a bar and lounge, told cops they saw Shawn James, 28, stalking around outside the restaurant at 7:30 a.m. on Mon., May 13. James then reportedly entered through an unlocked side door and took an elevator up to the fourth floor, where he crept behind the bar, grabbed three bottles of bubbly — total value $800 — and stashed them in a black bag.

But when James tried to make a stealthy escape through the same side door, the employees were waiting for him, and stopped him from leaving while they called police. James was arrested minutes later, and charged with burglary.

Cabbie was an iCrook
A disgruntled taxi driver got fed up with his feisty fare and allegedly stole her cell phone early Sat., May 11, but police used some digital assistance to track him down and retrieve the goods.

A 27-year-old woman said she hailed the hack in Times Square around 2 a.m. and asked him to drive back to her home in Crown Heights. But upon arriving at the destination, a dispute arose about payment of the fare, and the cabbie reportedly responded by snatching the woman’s iPhone and driving away before she had a chance to react.

The woman then reported the incident to her local police station, the 77th Precinct, where officers used the “Find My Phone” app to track the filched iPhone — and the cabbie — back to the Village, at Bleecker and Sullivan Sts. Sixth Precinct officers were then able to identify and arrest the cabbie, Yasar Munawar, 29, charging him with grand larceny.

Wallet thief couldn’t wait
A thirsty thief’s impatience was his downfall early on May 8, after he blew his cover by using a stolen credit card at the same bar where he’d just swiped it from an unwitting woman.

The victim, 29, told police she was about to pay her tab at Employees Only, at 510 Hudson St., around 4 a.m., when she noticed that her wallet was missing from her purse. But after she asked the bartender if he’d seen any lost wallets lying around, he quickly realized that a man at the other end of the bar — later identified as Luis Nadal, 26 — was right then trying to pay for his own drinks with the woman’s card. The bartender promptly snatched away the card and wallet from Nadal, and reported the crime to police, who arrived minutes later to cuff the unsuccessful thief.

Nadal was charged with attempted grand larceny.

Flung phone, then woman
Police arrested a man after he allegedly smashed a woman’s cell phone on the sidewalk and threw her to the ground following an argument early on Sat., May 11.

The victim said she was walking past the corner of Hudson and Christopher Sts. on her way to the subway around 3 a.m., when she bumped into Davon Wicks, 26, causing him to start a verbal altercation. Wicks then reportedly grabbed the woman’s phone and flung it to the curb, breaking it beyond repair, and began to walk away. And when the victim began to yell at him as he left the scene, Wicks allegedly grabbed her and threw her down as well, leaving some bruises.

After the woman reported the crime later that morning, police quickly apprehended Wicks during a canvass of the area. He was charged with criminal mischief.

Tikka masala tantrum
Police said that concerned pedestrians flagged down an officer driving near Thelewala, an Indian restaurant at 112 MacDougal St., around 11 p.m. on Fri., May 10, because a man on the street was acting “out of control.” A restaurant employee then told the officer that the enraged man — later identified as Matthew Realley, 22 — had just punched the establishment’s front window, leaving several large cracks. After being immediately arrested and questioned about the incident, Realley reportedly told the officer that he was just mad after being denied entry to a nearby bar.

Realley was charged with criminal mischief.

Sam Spokony

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