The Crime Blotter

Snowball-Wielding Toughs Terrorize Upper East Side!

The season’s first real snowfall produced too little snow on which to sled or ski in Central Park, but enough to produce two criminal complaints as the result of snowball fights that got out of hand.

In the first incident, on Jan. 20, two teenagers-one 15, the other 16-were throwing snowballs at each other on 64th Street and Second Avenue at 6:45 p.m. when a male who was approximately 30 years old started to yell at them.

The teens did what any fun-loving youngsters would do: They saw his verbal assault as an invitation to start lobbing snowballs at him. Rather than retaliate in the classic form by returning fire, the perp, playing dirty, grabbed a $200 North Face jacket belonging to one of his assailants and fled westbound on 64th Street.

A second snowball-related incident turned violent the following day at 1:45 a.m. The victim, a 27-year-old Brooklyn resident, told police that he was struck in the face with a snowball thrown by a teenager at 92nd Street and Second Avenue. An altercation predictably followed, during which the teenager forsook his snowballs for a more reliable projectile, namely his fist, planting it on the victim’s jaw and causing a laceration to his chin.

While the perp was throwing punches, a female accomplice left the area with the complainant’s sweater. Both perps were promptly arrested by the police, who made an interesting discovery when they searched the male. While his pockets were free of snow, they did allegedly harbor four plastic bags containing marijuana.

The suspect, an 18-year-old West 84th Street resident, dressed for winter in a gray bubble jacket, was charged with assault as well as possession of the drugs. His female friend, also 18 and from the Bronx (and outfitted in a black bubble jacket), will be required to respond to charges of petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. The victim received medical attention for his injury at the scene.

Car Mirrors Vanish

Crooks have targeted Upper East Side cars for years, stealing everything from bumpers to airbags-and often the entire vehicle. But a wave of recent auto-related crimes has the cops baffled. Since the start of the year, they’ve received reports of no fewer than five incidents in which the side-view mirrors of cars were stolen while they were parked on the street.

One incident occurred around 11 p.m. on Jan. 9, when both side-view mirrors were stolen from a car parked on York Avenue and 77th Street. On Jan. 14, a red 1995 Ford Explorer lost both its mirrors while parked in front of 225 East 95th Street. And there were three such incidents on Jan. 18, two on 69th Street around Third Avenue, and the third, to a 2001 Jeep Cherokee, in front of 19 East 72nd Street.

In the latter incident, a witness spotted the perp removing the driver’s-side mirror and fleeing west on 72nd Street and then southbound on Fifth Avenue. What the cops can’t figure out is why crooks would risk arrest for items of relatively little value; one victim estimated the cost of replacing her mirrors at a comparatively modest $200. They weren’t even stealing the mirror covers, which can run into a couple of thousand dollars on some luxury vehicles.

“They’re useless,” observed Timothy Keane, the 19th Precinct’s crime-prevention officer. “Unless there’s a new glass guy in town looking for business.”

Child’s Play

Kids seem to be maturing earlier and earlier. So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the police responded to the scene of a grand larceny at 91st Street and Third Avenue on Jan. 16 where the perpetrator’s and victim’s combined age was 24. When they arrived, the 11-year-old victim told police that she’d been walking to school around 8 a.m. when she was confronted by a perp who stole her $30 CD player. She described her assailant as 5-foot-6, 90 pounds and all of 13 years old. The 19th Precinct’s grand-larceny unit canvassed the area, but with negative results.

The Sex Must Be Darn Good

Getting ripped off by your date is the risk one takes when indulging in one-night stands. But it’s unusual to fall prey to the same larcenous Don Juan twice, as a 41-year-old gentleman appears to have done.

The victim reported to the police that he met a fellow at a bar last November and retired to the suspect’s East 65th Street apartment. When he awoke the next morning, he allegedly discovered that his money and jewelry were missing.

However, that didn’t prevent him from letting the same guy pick him up again on Jan. 10 and take him back to his apartment a second time. When he awoke the next morning, he discovered that he’d been ripped off again.

Among the items the complainant reported stolen over the course of their two dates was $400 in cash, a gold bracelet, a gold money clip and a gold Patek Philippe watch valued at $3,000.

A cop speculated that the complaint might have been the result of a relationship gone bad. “Hopefully,” observed a police officer, “the third time he’ll hide the jewelry and the money.”