Volume 79, Number 30 | December 30 - January 5, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Police Blotter

Bag snatchers get bagged

Sixth Precinct police arrested Jane Doe, 30, and a female accomplice, Jane Doe, 29, last week in connection with bag snatchings and thefts between Dec. 7 and Dec. 22 from victims in four locations in Greenwich Village, two in the East Village and one in Midtown.

They were arrested Tues., Dec. 22, at 4:30 p.m. inside the Starbucks at 45 W. Fourth St., where Jane Doe, 29, was charged with stealing a wallet from a woman patron’s bag and where Jane Doe, 30,was charged with possession of drivers’ licenses stolen from seven women.

They were also charged with stealing a bag from a patron of Le Pain Quotidien, 550 Hudson St., at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 14. The suspects were also charged with taking a bag with cash, a cell phone and a digital camera from a woman patron in Quinto Quarto

Osteria, 14 Bedford St., at 11:35 p.m. Dec. 11.

The previous night at 12:01 a.m. they made off with the bag of a woman patron of Nevada Smiths, 74 Third Ave., according to the charges. The theft of a patron’s handbag from a baby stroller at the American Girl Place boutique, 609 Fifth Ave., at 5 p.m. Dec. 8, is another charge. On Dec. 7 they were charged with stealing a bag from a patron of Think Coffee cafe, 248 Mercer St., at 5:50 p.m., and at 7:20 p.m. stealing a bag from a from a patron of Starbucks, 13 Astor Place

Perp 1 and Perp 2 were also charged with illegal possession of Xanax pills.

Perp 2, who gave a Philadelphia address, and Perp 1, who gave a Jersey City address, were being held in lieu of $25,000 bail each pending a Jan. 25 court appearance.


Tied up by home invader

Tenth Precinct police arrested a Lower East Side resident on Dec. 9 for the Oct. 27 home invasion and robbery of a woman, 37, in her apartment on W. 19th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves.

The suspect, Bartholomew Crawford, 41, of 120 Suffolk St., who was on parole for a previous burglary conviction at the time, was identified by his DNA from skin cells left on an article of the victim’s clothing that he used to tie her up, according to Inspector Stephen J. Hughes, 10th Precinct commanding officer.

The suspect had entered the victim’s fourth-floor apartment in her five-story building on the north side of W. 19th St. at 2 a.m. by going from roof to roof, police said. He threw a comforter over the head of the sleeping victim, tied her hands and feet, blindfolded her with her pantyhose and fled with $5,000 in cash.

Because she was bound and blindfolded, the victim was unable to identify the suspect except to say that from his voice he appeared to be an adult. Except for the DNA evidence, the case might have gone unsolved, Hughes said.

Crawford is being held in lieu of bail pending a court appearance on burglary, robbery and home invasion charges.


N.Y.U. embezzler

Police arrested John Runowicz, 27, a former New York University administrator, for stealing $409,000 from the university chemistry department between Sept. 11, 2003, and Jan. 27, 2009, by submitting false expense account invoices with cash register receipts picked from the trash outside a liquor store on Broadway.

Runowicz, a Stuyvesant Town resident, picked up discarded receipts in front of Warehouse Wines & Spirits, 735 Broadway, around the corner from his Waverly Place office, and submitted more than 13,000 of them over five and a half years, falsely claiming they were for chemistry department supplies and other department expenses. Many of the receipts had visible imprints of Warehouse Wines, according to the charges.

A New York Post article quoted an N.Y.U. history student, Michael Peaden, saying a student friend told him a year ago that she was suspicious about expense vouchers from the chemistry department that she had been told to take to the university bursar’s office and had called attention to them. Peaden told the Post that he had spoken to the university director of investigation about the receipts a year ago. John Beckman, N.Y.U. spokesperson, said, “The university is deeply disappointed that one of its employees would abuse the trust of our students, faculty, administrators and staff in this way.”

Runowicz pleaded not guilty to the charges on Dec. 23 and was freed on bail pending a court appearance for grand larceny and falsifying business records. He could receive up to 15 years for grand larceny and up to four years for falsifying records.


Push-in rob attempt

Police arrested James Weeks, 25, at 2:17 a.m. Wed., Dec. 16, and charged him with being one of three suspects who grabbed a man outside his sixth-floor apartment at 152 Avenue D and pushed their way in. The three suspects put a chokehold on the victim, took his keys from his pocket, opened the door and entered at 2 a.m., but the victim shouted to his family to phone 911, according to the charges. The three fled, but Ninth Precinct police viewed a surveillance video, saw the incident on tape and a short time later arrested Weeks in front of 205 Avenue C about two blocks from the scene. The two accomplices were not apprehended.


Bistro fleecer busted

Rasheed Mingles, 30, was arrested Mon., Dec. 21, for entering Felix bar and restaurant, 340 West Broadway at Grand St., at 3:50 a.m. on July 23 and fleeing with $5,000 cash and a Chase bank checkbook.

The suspect is charged with cashing several of the checks, beginning with one for $1,386 on July 24 at a Chase branch in Carle Place, Long Island. Two more checks were discovered on Aug. 3 to have been cashed, one for the account of a company on W. 46th St., and the other at a Westbury, Long Island, Chase branch.

One of the checks, which the suspect made out to himself, was traced and led to his arrest, police said. He was charged with grand larceny, identity theft and fraud.


Slashed and punched her

Louis Coiro, 20, was arrested around 9 p.m. Sun., Dec. 20, and charged with assaulting his girlfriend during an argument in their apartment at 38 Grand St. at Thompson St. The suspect slashed the victim’s arm with a folding knife and then punched her in the face and body, according to the charges. He is free on $1,000 bail pending a March 22 court appearance.


‘I’m going to shoot you’

A thief grabbed a wallet from the hand of a man who was about to hail a cab with a friend on Broadway near 11th St. at 2:30 a.m. Sun., Dec. 20, police said. The friend chased the suspect, described as a 6-foot-2-inch-tall, thin, black man, who shouted while fleeing, “Don’t make me shoot you. I’m going to shoot you.” Police said the suspect did not display a gun but escaped with $60.


L.E.S. stabbing

A fight between two groups of men outside a cell-phone store on Eldridge St. near Canal St. at 1 p.m. Sat., Dec. 26, ended when one man stabbed another. The victim was taken to Bellevue Medical Center in stable condition. Police have not made any arrests in the case and did not say what the argument was about.


‘My baby is sick’

A Lower East Side woman, 22, told police she got off an A train at 14th St. and Eighth Ave. around 9 a.m. on Thurs., Dec. 10, when a stranger got off with her, followed her to the street and declared, “You have to give me money.” The stranger said he needed money for his sick child, then “aggressively harassed” her and brought her to an A.T.M. at 80 Eighth Ave. where she withdrew $200, which she gave him, police said. The robber, described as a white man with gray hair, 5 feet 11 inches tall, told the victim his name was Ruven Melamed and that he lived at 26 Palmach St. in Jerusalem, police said.


Gun to head?

A woman, 22, told police a stranger who got on an A train with her at 42nd St. around 10:20 a.m. Tues., Dec. 15, asked her directions to Chambers St. but got off with her at 14th St. and followed her to an A.T.M. at 111 Eighth Ave., where he put what might have been a gun to the side of her face, forced her to withdraw money and fled with $160. The thief was described as a white man with gray hair, 5 feet 11 inches tall, about 180 pounds and speaking with an accent.


Mugged at PATH station

A mugger knocked a woman down the stairs at the PATH station at Ninth St. and Sixth Ave at 5:20 a.m. Sun., Dec. 20, grabbed her bag with $300 and credit cards and fled, police said.

Albert Amateau

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