Crime Blotter

Employee Robs Mickey D’s,

Leaves Scene in a McFlurry

There are distinct advantages to robbing your place of work. These include knowing where the security cameras are located and whether they’re working; you may even have been entrusted with the keys to the safe. But there are also disadvantages, as an employee of the McDonald’s at 969 First Avenue (at 51st Street) discovered on July 9 when he made like the Hamburglar and tried to rip off the fast-food franchise. One of the most obvious drawbacks is that your co-workers are bound to recognize you and may even turn you in to the cops.

The incident unfolded at 5:30 a.m., when the perp, a 23-year-old male, arrived at Mickey D’s as two of his fellow employees were opening for business. He told them he needed to retrieve something from his locker-so, being a colleague, they let him in.

But once inside, the suspect’s behavior was anything but collegial. Brandishing a knife, he tied up one of his victims and tossed the other in the freezer, locking it. He wasn’t utterly heartless however. As he proceeded to help himself to $2,200 in Big Mac and Happy Meal money, he apologized to the tied-up employee, explaining that he needed the money because he was leaving the country that day.

Worried that he might be identified, he took the security camera, and the VCR as well, before departing. There was only one thing he hadn’t considered: He’d already been identified. Humans, for all their shortcomings, sometimes function even more smoothly than security cameras, particularly since they’re interactive. After the victims had freed themselves, they called the cops and shared with them not only their assailant’s name, but also his travel plans.

Detectives from the 17th Precinct, the Port Authority and United States Customs convened at J.F.K., the perp’s point of embarkation, and apprehended him as he was boarding a plane to Ecuador. The defendant was charged with armed robbery.

Can I Get a Little

Extra Cheese

With That?

There are some people you just can’t make happy. On June 14, a gentleman carrying an old slice of pizza visited East Side Pan Pizza (a.k.a. Mama’s Original Pan Pizza), at 1603 Second Avenue, and asked a worker to warm it up for him. The pizzaman performed the courtesy, but then he asked the slice’s owner-who seemed, perhaps needless to say, down on his luck-to leave.

This didn’t sit well with the customer-if, in any case, he could be called a customer. He turned violent, breaking the pizzeria’s glass counter with his fist and then punching his host in the head before fleeing the scene on foot. He was apprehended by the police at 87th Street and Lexington Avenue. His victim, brought to the scene, positively identified the perp, who was charged with criminal mischief. No word on what became of the slice.

Minimum Security

The thought has probably occurred to all of us at one time or another as we’re about to go through a metal detector and have been ordered to place our keys, change, cell phones, etc., into one of those plastic boxes provided for our valuables: Will our possessions still be there when we reach the other side?

According to a visitor to the Jewish Museum, located at the corner of 92nd Street and Fifth Avenue, the answer is an unequivocal no. The victim, a 75-year-old Pittsburgh resident, told the police that when he visited the institution on July 10 at 6 p.m., he was instructed to place his personal items in a plastic box before proceeding through the museum’s security equipment.

However, when he reached the other side and retrieved his belongings, he discovered that his Sprint cell phone was missing. Sprint later informed him that numerous calls were made to locations in the Caribbean using the phone, which was valued at $100.

-additional reporting by Nicholas Graham

Ralph Gardner Jr. can be reached at rgard135@aol.com.

There are an almost infinite number of ways in which crooks give themselves up.

But the gaggle of ladies who visited Oilily, a boutique at 820 Madison Avenue, on July 12 did so in a manner that might be considered naïve, almost charming-though not, of course, to their victim, a store employee.

The worker had placed her pocketbook behind the store counter near some unattended cash registers when, unbeknownst to her, an unknown perp or perps absconded with it. She only learned of the theft when she received a call from an officer at the 19th Precinct about 20 minutes later informing her that a good Samaritan had found the pocketbook and turned it in.

It was at this point that the employee realized that the customers in question, who had mysteriously left the shop only to return minutes later, had paid for their purchases with three $50 bills eerily similar to the three $50’s that had been in her purse when it was stolen.

And if that wasn’t proof enough, when the call from the cops came in, the suspects (whom the shopkeeper described as one 25-year-old woman, a second in her 50’s with long black hair and a third, 5-foot-4 and pregnant)-who apparently had been shopping with their victim’s stolen money-were heard to exclaim “Oh, shoot!” before they fled in an unknown direction.

-additional reporting by Nicholas Graham

Ralph Gardner Jr. can be reached at rgard135@aol.com.