Those Wily Veterinarians! They’ll Catch You Every Time

Hospitals are hotbeds not just of disease but also of crime. There are so many people coming and going at all hours of the day and night—doctors, nurses, patients, visitors, etc.—that it’s easy for crooks to sneak past security amid the chaos and steal valuables from staff and the bedridden alike. And they do—everywhere but at one leading hospital, the Animal Medical Center on East 62nd Street.

If you’ve had the privilege of taking your pet there, you know that security is tight and the staff both competent and close-knit. But just how tight was proven on Sept. 27, when a burglar visited the facility around 1:30 p.m.

The thief—minus the dog, cat or canary that might have provided him cover—made his way to the fifth floor and visited three different offices in search of anything worth pocketing. The only problem was that a veritable studio audience was watching via closed-circuit TV as the suspect, a 51-year-old male, moved from office to office, opening desk drawers and looking for something to take. The witnesses included the chairman of the hospital’s surgery department, its chief financial officer and a security guard at the front desk, who ultimately handcuffed the perp and held him until the police arrived. Needless to say, no animals were harmed either during the incident or in the making of the security video, which will undoubtedly come in handy as evidence.

The Munchies

Crime Blotter isn’t too proud to run stories past their freshness date—at least if they involve hookers, hapless johns, expensive jewelry and fine food and drink, or some combination of the five, as this one does.

At the very end of July, a 38-year-old Jupiter, Fla., resident reported to the police that while staying at the Bentley Hotel, at 500 East 62nd Street, he ventured out for “a few drinks.”

There are those who would probably argue that anyone—but an out-of-towner in particular—who sets his limit in advance at multiple alcoholic beverages is asking for trouble. If nothing else, it might prevent him from appreciating the irony when he’s approached by a female stranger who asks him whether he wants to “go for a ride.”

That’s what happened here—and rather than take a rain check, the victim happily piled into her car, making one pit stop at a local deli to pick up a six-pack and a sandwich on their way back to the Bentley.

To the female’s credit, she didn’t wait for him to pass out and steal his money and jewelry, as ladies in her field sometimes do; instead, she kept him company before she rolled him. Indeed, back at the hotel they had a “few drinks”—not to be confused with the few drinks the man had earlier in the evening—and then they “got to know each other,” according to the police.

Unfortunately, a crime report devoted to the incident draws the shades on that part of the evening. However, when it concluded, the gentleman realized that he’d left his laptop in his lover’s vehicle.

So they both went back to the car to retrieve it, and then decided—by now apparently packing a sex- and 80-proof-fueled appetite—to return to the deli to pick up “some egg sandwiches.” The female said she’d wait in the car while her date stocked up on provisions. Unfortunately, he was forced to dine alone; when he returned to the street with the snacks, his date, her car and his laptop were all gone.

And returning to his room at the Bentley, he also discovered that she’d filched $5,000 in cash and a gold Rolex worth an additional $5,000. The laptop was valued at $1,000.

While the Florida man apparently wasn’t able to provide the cops with a very good description of his friend—not surprisingly, considering the effects of large quantities of liquor on mental function—he obviously had a head for numbers: He recalled that the woman was driving a car with New Jersey license plates starting with “316.” He added that the vehicle might have been black, with a gray interior.

Warning Signs

Crooks offer all sorts of clues to let you know they mean business. These run the gamut from verbal threats to the display of actual weapons. But perhaps the most persuasive is when they’re sporting fresh wounds. The average Joe, suffering from physical injury, would probably first go searching for a hospital. But if a bad guy is so desperate that he’s willing to assault you while his own flesh is falling off, you probably ought to consider complying with his demands.

That’s the situation in which one 34-year-old Third Avenue resident found herself on Sept. 27. She was riding her bike westbound on 88th Street between Second and Third avenues at 6 p.m. when a villain jumped in front of her and stated, “Give me your bike or I’ll shoot you.”

He didn’t produce any weapons or even attack her; then again, he didn’t have to. His face said it all. According to his victim, it featured “fresh slashes.” So the lady relinquished her bike, a dark blue Univega of unreported value. She also allowed the perp—described as 40 years old and 5-foot-9—to abscond with $15 and her Visa card. The police conducted a canvass of the neighborhood for the maimed crook, but with negative results.