The Crime Blotter

Congratulations? Next Time, Send Flowers

Some people, it should come as no surprise, have a better sense of humor than others. And then there’s the woman who visited a friend’s Park Avenue building on Nov. 8. By now, it ought to be clear that using anthrax as the punch line to your joke is a risky thing to do-especially when it’s a practical joke involving the use of white powder.

But this 39-year-old lady apparently felt that there was some humor yet to be wrung from biological weapons. Dressed in a blue skirt and multicolored blazer, she pulled up in a yellow cab at her friend’s building, 1165 Park Avenue, shortly after noon and handed a yellow envelope to the doorman.

It was inscribed with her friend’s name and the words “The Penthouse.” The doorman, who apparently wasn’t in on the joke, accepted the letter readily enough-but as he was walking back into the building, he noticed white powder on his hands. When the police arrived shortly thereafter, they observed a card inside the envelope, which was filled with white powder, stating simply: “Happy Anniversary.”

A Department of Health “Hammer” team responded to the scene, and upon further investigation determined-with the help of the letter’s intended recipients up in the penthouse-that the perp was a friend of theirs who lived at 829 Park Avenue.

She admitted that the whole thing was a joke, albeit a feeble one. The white powder, far from being a weapon of mass destruction, turned out to be baking soda.

It couldn’t be learned whether the lady apologized for her lousy sense of humor, and whether her victims decided to press charges or merely take her off their mailing list.

More Nasty Mail

On a less festive note, the 92nd Street Y, at 1395 Lexington Avenue, received a suspicious letter addressed to Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel on Nov. 5. Mr. Wiesel is a frequent speaker at the Y’s Center for Jewish Affairs.

Written on the outside of the envelope were what were described as “derogatory statements against the U.S.A. and Jews.” Hammer Team No. 5 responded to the scene, bagged the letter and spirited it off to the Department of Health for testing.

Stripped in the U.S.A.

There are few things more characteristic of American enterprise than the speed with which car-strippers dismember a vehicle. That entrepreneurial zeal was in full flower on Nov. 4, when Nepal’s ambassador to the U.N. parked his leased gray 2000 Lincoln sedan overnight at Madison Avenue and 84th Street.

When he returned to retrieve it the following day, much of the vehicle was missing. The NYPD’s Intelligence Division, which handles matters involving foreign dignitaries, was informed of the crime.

Big on Sean John

Puff Daddy-or “P. Diddy,” as he prefers to be denominated these days-would doubtless be flattered to learn that his Sean John line of clothes is proving extremely popular at Bloomingdale’s. Unfortunately, some of the brand’s best customers aren’t shoppers, but shoplifters.

In what appears to be the sartorial equivalent of a speed trap, store detectives arrested two individuals in what they wrote up as two separate incidents, both at 9:15 p.m. on Nov. 8. In the first case, one of the detectives stated that he was on the department store’s basement level when he saw a suspect take $248 worth of Sean John items-a red shirt, a pair of sweatpants and a jacket-and head for the fitting room.

When the fashionista emerged a few minutes later, the clothes had miraculously vanished-or rather, according to the store detectives, they’d been concealed under his own apparel. When the perp, a 25-year-old male, walked upstairs to the store’s main level and passed the cash registers on his way towards the exit-a good sign he wasn’t planning to pay for the merchandise-the store dick swooped down on him, recovered the stolen items and held him until the police arrived.

In a separate basement incident at the same time, another store detective said he watched as a 41-year-old Bronx resident helped himself to a $195 Sean John jacket and disappeared into a fitting room to try it on. He, too, was apparently satisfied with the fit, because when he emerged from the fitting room, the garment was nowhere to be seen.

According to the detective, it was, in fact, imperfectly hidden under the perp’s own undoubtedly less stylish sport coat. As in the previous incident, the fellow made it upstairs, past the registers and as far as the door before he was intercepted and held for the cops.

The Crime Blotter