Thieves Order Delivery Men: ‘Hand Over the Tips, Fries’

The life of the takeout-delivery man isn’t an especially glamorous one, what with snow, rain, sadistic motorists and the lousy tippers who greet him once the food safely reaches its destination. Add to these woes a team of muggers who have been preying on the hard-working porters of pork lo mein since January.

According to the police, the crooks lie in wait for the delivery men, approach them after they’ve delivered their orders, display a silver knife or threaten to shoot them, and then take their money. At least seven such incidents have occurred since the beginning of the year, the most recent on March 3 at 8:20 p.m., when the bandits approached an employee of the Silver Star Diner as he left a building at 208 East 70th Street.

The robbers accosted him in the building’s vestibule, two of them cornering him while a third served as the look-out. They informed the delivery man that they were prepared to shoot him if he resisted, and then relieved him of $40 before fleeing on foot northbound on Third Avenue. The cops canvassed the area extensively, but couldn’t find the crooks.

On Feb. 4, thieves simulating a weapon helped themselves to two orders of atomic chicken wings and $30 from a delivery man employed by the (perhaps too aptly named) Mug Shot Saloon at 1446 First Avenue. The delivery man was on his way to 210 East 83rd Street when one of the robbers punched him in the mouth and removed the money from his pants pocket, not to mention the chicken wings from his bike.

A day earlier, three crooks approached a delivery man for Saigon Grill from behind after he’d dropped off an order at an East 90th Street address. One of them punched him over the right eye, causing a two-inch laceration, before stealing $100. Then all three thieves fled on bikes, two on their own, the third on the delivery man’s. The victim made his way to Lenox Hill Hospital, where the police responded but their ability to help find the man’s assailants was hampered by the fact that he spoke only Mandarin, and the police had trouble locating an interpreter.

Backpack Rats

Such is the eagerness of the human male during rutting season which runs roughly from spring to summer to autumn and then, finally, through winter that he abandons the self-preserving caution that serves him so well when he isn’t in heat.

That’s apparently what happened to a couple of young Casanovas who met two alluring young ladies at an Upper East Side bar on March 3. The gentlemen invited the maidens one of them described as 25 years old with long blond hair, the other as 25 years old with long black hair back to their apartment, where they had what they described to the police as “a couple of beers.” What else they may have shared wasn’t itemized, but the fellows eventually fell sound asleep.

When they awoke, they discovered that their newfound friends had departed, but not before taking several souvenirs: a $2,500 I.B.M. laptop, a $600 PlayStation and a $30 knapsack, probably to carry the mementos in. The victims weren’t able to provide the police with a lot of information about the enterprising young women, except that one of them was named Erin and drove a silver Range Rover.

Exercising Their Fingers

Health-club habitués may suffer from something of a false sense of security, assuming that their fellow club members share common goals with them: a healthy lifestyle, washboard abs and perhaps a little relaxed companionship. But a couple of female fitness buffs discovered in recent weeks that their gyms constituted Temptation Islands of a different sort.

On March 2, a 31-year-old East 83rd Street resident was using a treadmill at the Equinox Gym at 85th Street and Third Avenue. While she was monitoring her mileage, an unknown perp extracted a $300 Motorola cell phone from her backpack, which she’d hung on the back of the machine.

On Feb. 27, a 37-year-old woman told police that she’d gone to avail herself of the ladies’ comfort facilities of her gym, located at 61st Street and First Avenue. While she was away, a thief helped himself or, more likely, herself to $20 from her locker, as well as her Morgan Stanley credit card. When the woman reported the stolen card to her credit-card company, she was informed that the thief had gotten a lot of exercise on her line of credit, spending $2,050 at 12 different stores. Thieves Order Delivery Men: ‘Hand Over the Tips, Fries’