There are several steps a purchaser undertakes before moving into a multimillion-dollar condo such as 515 Park Avenue, the neo-preo skyscraper where $12 million is considered bottom-feeding for an apartment (were any left to be had). These steps include coming up with the cash or financing to purchase your pied-à-terre, settling on an interior decorator to redesign the space to your specifications, spending a few more million in the process, giving lingering contractors and subcontractors the bum’s rush-and moving in.
It was during this final stage that one new tenant encountered particular difficulty in late January. The building’s views up Park Avenue and through the pinnacles of the Pierre and the Sherry Netherland to Central Park, which lies like a great throw rug just beyond, are among the city’s most spectacular. And that apparently made the tenant so eager to move into her 27th-floor apartment that she arrived with her jewelry-approximately a quarter of a million dollars’ worth-while construction crews were still putting on the finishing touches.
The 39-year-old victim told the police that she’d shown up with her baubles in a case on Jan. 30 at 4:30 p.m. On Feb. 3, she noticed that her property was missing.
The 19th Precinct detective squad, which is investigating the case, has its work cut out for it. The victim described the number of workmen who were putting the finishing touches on her palace in the sky as “many.”
In the hierarchy of projectiles, the BB ranks among the most lowly. However, it can still change your day, as a motorist parked in front of 720 Madison Avenue on Jan. 29 can attest. The victim was sitting in the driver’s seat of a Mercedes station wagon at 1:33 p.m. when the front passenger-side window suddenly shattered, causing a small laceration to the back of his right hand.
The police responded to the scene and recovered one BB. The victim told the officers that he believes the baby bullet was shot from a white van that continued northbound on Madison Avenue.
Pop Goes the Wall
Normally, when thieves go to the effort of punching a hole through a wall, it’s to get at something worth the risk-for example, a safe or an A.T.M. However, on Jan. 17, several crooks (apparently more in the Cole Porter than the street-person mode) raided Glorious Food, the upscale caterer at 504 East 74th Street, in search not of cash but of champagne.
Their mission appears to have been an unequivocal success. After cutting a hole through a sheetrock wall, they helped themselves to 87 cases of champagne worth $7,000. The bubbly wasn’t any generic house brand, either; it was Dom Perignon.
While this column roundly condemns crime, it is occasionally forced to give credit to crooks who display a certain amount of chutzpah or creativity in the pursuit of their chosen profession, as a couple of thieves did on Jan. 10.
The perps approached a truck driver who was unloading merchandise from the rear of his truck at the Calvin Klein store loading dock at 654 Madison Avenue, and helpfully told him that he was being issued a parking ticket at the front of his vehicle.
The driver, as anybody with a pulse would, rushed around to the front of the truck to plead his case, apparently with one of the perps tagging along behind him supportively. In the several seconds that he was away, perp No. 2 helped himself to nine Calvin Klein raincoats valued at $5,950 and eight pairs of men’s pants worth $2,115. The theft was witnessed by loading-dock personnel, who also testified they saw the crooks flee in opposite directions.
One can only guess at the disappointment that greeted the unknown perps who broke into La Maison du Chocolat, 1018 Madison Avenue, on Jan. 6 at 3:50 a.m. For those who haven’t had the budget-busting pleasure of stepping into the jewel-box-like confectionery and tea room (where one’s wallet seems to grow lighter from merely inhaling the fragrance of the chocolate, and where a small cake can cost almost as much as a Caribbean cruise), $2 won’t get you a lot. However, that’s all the thieves managed to make off with after they smashed the store’s glass front door.
Perhaps out of frustration at not finding the mother lode of cash-or maybe just from chocolate withdrawal-the bandits threw the bakery’s cash registers to the floor, damaging them.
The cops canvassed the neighborhood for the thieves, who fled in an unknown direction, but weren’t able to find them.