La Perla lingerie may make women feel sexy and drive their men mad—how else to explain spending $100 on a pair of panties? Nonetheless, the folks at the pricey underwear boutique, located at 803 Madison Avenue, could probably have done without the male aficionado who showed up shortly after 7 p.m. on June 23.
The suspect didn’t even bother to enter the store and fondle the merchandise. Rather, he stood in front of the store’s window, plunged his hands down his trousers and started to pleasure himself.
The staff at La Perla didn’t appreciate the tribute; then again, they didn’t panic, either. Instead, they started yelling at the perp to leave, his heartfelt testimonial being not exactly the sort that attracts business and helps to move the store’s posh silk slippers, bathrobes and cutting-edge bustiers.
When that didn’t work, one of the saleswomen whipped out her camera phone to record the crime in progress and get the pervert’s picture. That persuaded him to flee northbound on Madison Avenue with an impromptu camera crew—the employee and her co-worker—in hot pursuit.
They failed to catch him, and a canvass of the area by the NYPD came up with negative results. Nonetheless, one cop was duly impressed with the potential of camera phones as crime-fighting devices. “What could be better than that?” she enthused. “It’s like a videotape of the crime!”
One tends to think of oneself as safe on the examining table in a doctor’s office—at least from crime, if not from the physician’s negligence, arrogance, incompetence or egregious bedside manner. But a couple of recent incidents suggest that patients ought to guard their valuables (not to mention their dignity) as jealously in their doctors’ offices as they would on, say, the A train at 4 a.m.
On June 21, a Bellmore, N.Y., man told the police that he’d gone to an East 72nd Street doctor’s office for X-rays. The procedure required him to remove his clothes as well as all metal objects from his person. It’s a dilemma we’ve all faced at one time or another: You don’t want to leave your valuables behind; on the other hand, you can’t really take them with you, and you’re afraid if you share your concerns with the staff, they’ll think you’re accusing them of being crooks. So you leave your jewelry and other baubles behind and hold your breath.
In this case, the patient undoubtedly wishes he’d that broken the rules and kept his valuables on his person, even if it meant getting them X-rayed. When he returned to the changing room, the white-gold (with diamond) Cartier Panthere ladies’ watch that he’d been carrying was gone. The watch was valued at $12,920.
Meanwhile, the crook that visited an East 83rd Street doctor’s office on June 15 was even more brazen. He dropped by the examining room at 11:15 a.m. and helped himself to one patient’s property while she was stretched out on the examining table waiting to see her doctor.
The victim, a 48-year-old Ridgefield, N.J., resident, told the cops that she’d heard someone going through her pocketbook. When she turned around, she spotted a fellow wearing a dust mask, a pair of wire-framed eyeglasses and a multicolored knit cap—not exactly your standard operating-room scrubs. When she asked him if she could help him, the perp turned around and left the room.
The woman checked her pocketbook immediately after his departure and discovered her $300 Samsung cell phone missing. An employee at the doctor’s office said that she’d seen the suspect when he’d first arrived at the office but, perhaps thinking that he was a patient or a pharmaceutical-company salesman (so what if he wasn’t cute and blond and toting a sample case?), didn’t raise any alarms.
When has a restaurant become too popular? How about when it gets so crowded that crooks can pick your pockets while you’re waiting on line for a table? That’s apparently what happened to one Freehold, N.J., resident when she visited Serendipity 3, the café and confectioner at 225 East 60th Street, around 3:30 p.m. on June 24.
The victim told the police that she was “bumped multiple times.” As it turns out, it wasn’t fellow patrons jockeying for a glass of the restaurant’s celebrated frozen hot-chocolate parfait: It was one or more pickpockets rifling through her pocket book.
She became aware of the crime when she noticed that her bag was open and her wallet missing. It contained $220 in cash, credit cards and her New Jersey driver’s license. And it didn’t take long for the thieves to put her plastic to good use: Shortly afterwards, they spent $800 at Natalie and Friends, a children’s clothing store located a couple of doors west of Serendipity at 205 East 60th Street. A saleswoman at Natalie and Friends was confident that she could ID the perp.