Volume 77 / Number 47 - April 23 - 29, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

School bus crash
Three cars and a school bus full of children collided at 8 a.m. Wed., April 16, at the intersection of Leroy and West Sts. Police and firefighters responded and removed 11 children and the driver from the bus, all with minor injuries, according to a Fire Department spokesperson.

Indict teller
The two robberies of the Avenue A Sovereign Bank branch last year that a former New York Police Department officer is charged with committing also involved a woman teller at the bank, according to the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan.

Christina Dasrath, 20, was charged with conspiring with the defendant, Christian Torres, 21, in the robberies of the branch on Avenue A at E. Fourth St. on June 8 and Nov. 16. Torres was arrested earlier this month in Muhlenberg, Pa., and charged with robbing $113,000 from a bank there.

Dasrath, a Bronx resident, received a share in the $118,000 that Torres, also a Bronx resident, took from the two Avenue A robberies, according to the charges. She was charged with telling Torres about Sovereign Bank policy in case of a holdup shortly after she began working at the bank in April 2007.

Dasrath describes herself on her Web site as a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where Torres earned a degree. She was charged in federal court on April 17 and was freed on $250,000 bail.

Diamond theft
A diamond dealer who does business with jewelry stores on Canal St. in Chinatown was indicted on Tuesday for stealing $3 million in diamonds that had been consigned to him by other dealers and making false reports to police that the gems had been stolen from him.

The charges against Alfred Avi Taub, 29, began with a complaint by a group of 45 diamond dealers that Taub had stolen $3.3 million from them between April 11 and May 31 of last year. Diamond dealers commonly consign gems to each other on nothing more than a memo and pay for them when they are sold or return them.

On June 13, Taub told police at the Fifth Precinct that he was carrying more than $1 million in diamonds in a leather bag while visiting Canal St. jewelry stores when someone came from behind, pepper sprayed him and stole the gems.

He subsequently filed a claim with his insurance company for the alleged loss and provided the company and police with consignment memos he claimed represented the stolen diamonds.

But on June 28, the 45 dealers sued Taub, his brother Oren and his father, Shalom, and claimed the Taubs stole the gems after building a credit rating and a reputation as legitimate dealers in the 47th St. diamond district.

On June 27, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Detective Squad executed a search warrant of Taub’s parents’ house on Long Island and saw Taub running through the house and into a bedroom closet, according to D.A. Morgenthau.

Detectives found four diamonds and $12,000 in the closet and four more diamonds elsewhere in the house — two of which were among those that Taub claimed had been stolen, the district attorney said.

Taub, an Israeli native, was arraigned on Tuesday afternoon and was being held pending a bail hearing. The civil suit against the Taubs and another diamond merchant is pending.

Burglary arrest
Police arrested William Casey, 43, shortly after 1 a.m. Mon., April 14, inside a Cadillac parked on Varick St. near Charlton St. and charged him with breaking the back window of the car and stealing several CD’s. Police later matched his fingerprints to a burglary a week earlier of La Palapa, a restaurant at 359 Sixth Ave. near Waverly Pl., and stealing four laptops. He is being held pending arraignment on May 7, a spokesperson for the district attorney said.

Club losses
A woman patron of The Otheroom, a lounge at 143 Perry St., told police she discovered that the bag she placed at her feet on Tuesday night April 8 was stolen sometime after 10:30 p.m. A man who was in The Plumm, 246 W. 14th St., during the early hours of Mon., April 7, discovered at 4 a.m. that his cell phone had been stolen, police said.

Assault in club
Police arrested Derrick Probst, 35, of Commack, L.I., shortly after 2 a.m. Sun., April 20, and charged him with assaulting a woman, 25, in Pacific East Bar, at 49 Grove St. He punched her in the eye while she was about to enter the ladies’ room, then tore her shirt and scratched her arm, according to the complaint. He was scheduled for arraignment on May 23.

‘Borrowed’ cell phone
A Lower East Side man who “borrowed” a cell phone but didn’t return it at a March 6 party at an apartment on E. 28th St. near Madison Ave., was arrested more than a month later after the victim met him again in a Chelsea club.

The victim ran into the suspect, Michael Findley, 28, of 13 Stanton St., on April 11 at Bungalow 8, the club at 515 W. 27th St., and noticed that Findley’s cell phone was the same one that Findley had not returned on March 6. The victim called police and Findley struggled when he was being handcuffed, according to the charges. Findley is charged with petit larceny and resisting arrest, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan D.A.

Albert Amateau

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