Volume 78 - Number 35 / January 28 - February 3, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Burglary spree

Police last week arrested a man and charged him with seven burglaries, five of them in the Village, over the past month.

The suspect, Michael Stone, 42, was arrested on Jan. 20 by 10th Precinct detectives who were investigating burglaries of two restaurants in Chelsea, one at Swich, 104 Eighth Ave., on Nov. 21 and the other at Blue Ginger, 106 Eighth Ave., between 15th and 16th Sts., on Nov. 24.

Stone was charged with breaking into the two Chelsea locations and stealing cash and other items.

Sixth Precinct police were also on the case investigating subsequent robberies on Carmine St. and Seventh Ave. South.

Stone was charged with breaking into Cabrito, at 50 Carmine St., between 11 p.m. Dec. 24 and 3 p.m. Christmas Day and taking $1,500 from two cash registers.

On the night of Dec. 27 Stone broke into the office of GMAC Real Estate at 41 Carmine St., tried though failed to break into a safe, but stole three Sony flat-screen TVs and a microwave from an adjoining apartment, according to the charges.

On New Year’s Eve, he allegedly broke into Grand Sichuan, at 15 Seventh Ave. South, and made off with an unspecified sum of cash, according to charges filed by the Manhattan district attorney.

The East Corner Co., Inc. a Chinese antiques shop at 44 Carmine St., was the scene of one of two burglaries charged against Stone on Sat., Jan. 3; he made off with a laptop computer and $200 in cash during a 7:30 a.m. burglary, according to the charges. Earlier the same morning, he broke into Panca, a Peruvian restaurant at 92 Seventh Ave. South, and stole an unspecified amount of cash, according to the charges.

Stone was being held in lieu of $60,000 bail pending a Feb. 9 court appearance.

Bistro burglar

Police apprehended Alphonse Vastano, 44, on Wed., Jan. 14, and charged him with three restaurant burglaries, two in Soho in October and one in Chelsea on Jan. 2.

On Oct. 2, Vastano and an accomplice broke into Jacques, 20 Prince St., and stole a safe that was bolted to the floor and its contents of $7,000, according to the charges. On Oct. 23, Vastano and an accomplice broke into Delicatessen, 54 Prince St., between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., cracked three safes and made off with $8,000, according to charges.

At 5:30 a.m. on Fri., Jan. 2, Vastano and an accomplice broke into Cookshop, 156 10th Ave. at 20th St., drilled open a safe, stole $5,500 in cash and two chef’s knives and fled, according to the charges filed by the Manhattan district attorney.

When he was arrested, Vastano told police that he had stolen the chef’s knives from Cookshop, and acknowledged that he was one of the people recorded on the surveillance videos at the scenes of the two Prince St. burglaries.

Set up and robbed

Police arrested Kenneth Colson, 43, on Fri., Jan. 23, and charged him with participation in a June 7 forced entry with two accomplices of an apartment at 236 E. 13th St. between First and Second Aves.

A woman whom the victim had invited into his apartment held the door open for Colson, who began beating the victim while a third accomplice followed him in, police said. The woman picked up a knife from the kitchen, gave it to the third suspect, then grabbed a laptop computer and fled along with Colson and the other man.

Colson, of the Bronx, charged with burglary and assault, was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail pending a Jan. 29 court appearance. The other two suspects are still at large.

N.Y.U. dorm theft

Police arrested Juan Molina, 18, on Thurs., Jan. 22, and charged him with burglary and larceny in connection with thefts from three student rooms at the New York University residence at Carlyle Court, 25 Union Square West, on Mon., Jan. 19, and Tues., Jan. 20. The suspect, of Washington Heights, was arrested after a stolen credit card was used at a local drug store. There were no forced entries into the rooms, and one of the burglaries happened while the student was in the shower, according to reports. The suspect is not an N.Y.U. student.

‘Don’t make me shoot you’

Police arrested Niddal Mahmoud, 23, on Sat., Jan. 17, for attacks on his girlfriend in her Elizabeth St. apartment near Grand St. on two successive days. On Tues., Jan. 13, the suspect punched and kicked the woman, then slashed her sofa and smashed her cell phone, according to charges filed by the Manhattan D.A. The following day, the suspect kicked in the victim’s door, and when she told him to leave, indicated he had a gun in his waistband and said, “Don’t make me shoot you,” according to the charges. Mahmoud, of North Bergen, N.J., was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending a Fri., Jan. 23, court appearance on assault and criminal mischief.

Bar fishy business

Patrons of Kettle of Fish, 59 Christopher St., spotted a man dipping into the bags of three women who were visiting from Texas around 12:30 a.m. Sun., Jan. 18. The boyfriend of one of the victims stopped the suspect and held him for police, who found three wallets belonging to the victims in the suspect’s jacket pocket. Police charged Paul Persichetti, 35, with grand larceny.

Monstrous crime

A patron of The Monster bar, 80 Grove St., put his bag on a nearby table to watch the pianist play a few tunes around 3 a.m. Wed., Jan. 21, and turned to it five minutes later to discover it had been stolen, along with his wallet, $15 in cash, credit card, house key and medicine, police said.

Driving while impaired

Police stopped a car at the D.W.I. checkpoint on the northeast corner of Washington and West Houston Sts. around 1:30 a.m. Sat., Jan. 24, and arrested Lavette Harris, 27, who appeared drunk. A search recovered three glassine envelopes of marijuana. Upon further investigation, she was found to have a suspended driver’s license and was named on an arrest warrant.

Police stopped Matthew DiGiuseppe, 26, in his 2008 Nissan at the checkpoint on the northwest corner of West and Houston Sts. at 1:30 a.m. Sat., Jan. 17, and charged him with driving while intoxicated when he registered .110 on a field alcohol breath test. The legal threshold is .08.

A half-hour later at the northeast corner of West and Houston Sts., police stopped a 1999 Acura with Pennsylvania plates and charged Claudia Aguilera with driving while intoxicated after she registered .104 on a field alcohol breath test.

Police stopped a 2004 Lincoln in front of 334 West Houston St. between Greenwich and Washington Sts. shortly after midnight Sat., Jan. 24, and charged Mustafa Muhammad, 33, with driving under the influence of marijuana. The defendant told police at the time, “I smoked some weed earlier,” according to police reports.

Albert Amateau


Reader Services




The Villager is published by Community Media LLC. 145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 | Fax: (212) 229-2790 | Advertising: 646-452-2465 | © 2009 Community Media, LLC

Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this newspaper, in whole or in part, can be reproduced or redistributed.