Scammers arrested in sting operation on the Upper East Side, police say

BY CHRISS WILLIAMS 

19th Precinct

Break-fast. 

A homeless man was observed throwing a cinder block towards the front window of an Upper East Side jewelry store, breaking the glass. According to police, Christopher Cruz, 46, broke into Kat Jewelry at 167 East 87 St. early Saturday, Nov. 16, at approximately 4:55 a.m. He allegedly stuck his hand through the broken glass and removed two white metal bowls and a silver coin plate valued at $3,500. Cruz fled on foot before being stopped by on-duty police officers on 88th Street and Fifth Ave. He allegedly told police that the reason behind the theft was hunger as he “hadn’t eaten in three days.” Cruz was arrested and charged with burglary in the third degree. 

Smoke and Fight.

Two men having an evening cigarette in their building’s courtyard were assaulted by a trio of teens. On Wednesday, Oct. 9 at approximately 5 p.m., residents of 205 East 92nd St. were approached by three teenagers who demanded they hand over the contents of their pockets in 10 seconds. The threatening trio counted down from 10 and snatched one victim’s cellphone. When the victim was able to retrieve his phone, he was punched several times in the side of the head sustaining minor injuries to lip and tongue. The second victim was grabbed by his collar and pushed to the ground as attempted to run from the scene for help. Police arrested a 15-year-old male on Oct. 11 and a second on Nov. 13 on charges of attempted robbery. 

Color Coordinated. 

Police are looking for a 38-year-old woman who was observed walking out of Duane Reade with over $2,000 in stolen merchandise in her bag.  According to an employee at the 201 86th St. location the woman in a pink skirt and brown coat was observed placing various merchandise in her color coordinated pink and brown bag on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at approximately 2:40 a.m. She left the store on foot and police were notified. 

Stung.

Police arrested two women after a successful sting operation that targeted an elderly Upper East Side woman. On Wednesday, Nov. 11, the victim was contacted via phone by an alleged bail bondsman asking for $16,000 to assist in her grandson’s arrest in Mexico. The victim agreed to withdraw the money and gave it to a female messenger outside of her building. Later that day, after the caller asked for an additional $40,000, the grandmother called her grandson and learned he was not in Mexico. The NYPD was alerted and members of their anti-crime team met with the victim to stage a second meeting. The victim arranged with the caller for a messenger to meet her outside of her building in the East 60s. At approximately 5:30 p.m., the doting grandma passed the envelope to a second messenger with what was believed to be the $40,000 in cash — resulting in the immediate arrest of a female in her 40s. A second woman who was providing the getaway transportation was placed into police custody and revealed herself as the first messenger. The duo, who are both in their 40s, had $16,000 in their possession, police say. 

 

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