One mistake crooks frequently make is that they attract unnecessary attention to themselves. They get pulled over for something preventable, such as running a red light, and then when the cop searches the vehicle, he finds an arsenal of weapons, or enough meth to illuminate the entire tristate area.
Something like that happened on Jan. 30, shortly after 3 p.m., on 65th Street between Lexington and Third avenues. A 54-year-old male was observed by a police officer driving a blue 1991 Volvo with a defective headlight.
It happens to the best of us. But must we have a can of beer in our lap, or an entire six-pack—or, in this guy’s case, a ziplock bag containing pot? And how did the cop discover that his suspect was a pothead? It wasn’t because the inside of his vehicle was obscured by cumulus clouds of dope, or because it suffered the unmistakable scent of cannabis.
It’s because the fool tried to throw his stash out the window. And lest you think I’m being too hard on the guy, he admitted so himself. Rather than playing dumb—“Marijuana? What marijuana? That’s incense”—he told the cop, “I should have eaten the marijuana instead of throwing it out the window.”
A computer check pursuant to his arrest for criminal possession of marijuana revealed an outstanding warrant of an undisclosed nature.
Hey, Cop, Over Here!
In a similar but more serious case of being your own worst enemy, a police officer observed two males illegally parked in front of 187 East 80th Street on Jan. 23 at 8:45 p.m. It was a rather boneheaded thing to do, because the men were wanted for several recent armed robberies, including two in the 19th Precinct and three in the 20th Precinct on the West Side.
And in one of those cases of trying too hard to look innocent, thus attracting additional suspicion, the driver got out of the car, approached the cop and asked him whether it was legal to park there. When the officer looked at the car before offering his opinion, he spotted the second male sitting in the passenger seat and engaged in what the police described as “furtive movements.” Which is usually the way it is when you’re trying to hide a firearm from a cop.
In any case, the officer may have been more attuned to suspicious behavior than usual because the 4-to-midnight tour had been dispatched from the stationhouse with instructions to be on the lookout for these exact robbers.
So the officer asked the passenger to get out of the car. He refused—numerous times—undoubtedly confirming the cop’s suspicions that these two weren’t garden-variety scofflaws, and making the decision to remove him forcibly from the vehicle and handcuff his hands behind his back a relatively easy one.
The officer discovered the loaded firearm that the suspect, 19, was trying to hide, in the immediate vicinity of where he’d been sitting. And wouldn’t you know it, the other guy’s New York State driver’s license had been suspended. He also happened to be carrying a knife, and probably not for peeling fruit; when the police searched the car’s trunk, they found a black 9-millimeter Makarov pistol with seven live rounds, a black magazine (apparently of the ballistics rather than the literary sort), a .22-caliber revolver and four live .22 cartridges.
The suspects were arrested for criminal possession of a weapon, though not for illegal parking, and line-ups with some of their robbery victims were in the works. “The investigation is ongoing,” said a police official who expects the suspects to be connected to additional crimes.