The Crime Blotter

Perp Leaves Few Clues,

But Her Shoes Were No. 9

It’s one thing to shoplift from a store when it’s open for business. But it’s completely unacceptable to do so when it’s closed for inventory, as Janine Dray, a women’s apparel boutique at 1021 Madison Avenue, was on Sept. 2.

The incident occurred at 1:37 p.m., when a female, admiring a pair of shoes in the window, knocked on the glass. An employee courteously opened the door, even though the store was closed at the time.

After the window-shopper expressed her interest in the shoes, the saleswoman reached into the window and pulled them out. “Do you have those in a size 9?” the suspect inquired. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t a pair of fall pumps the perp was really after, but the employee’s wallet, which was sitting on the counter and which, shortly after the curious woman’s departure, the saleswoman noticed missing. The saleswoman believes the customer stole it while her back was turned as she retrieved the shoes from the window.

After she returned from the stock room with the item in the correct size, the saleswoman told the police, the shopper left in a hurry, and without making a purchase. She did however, make a purchase later-in the amount of $450-with her victim’s American Express platinum card. She also got away with $90 in cash, a MasterCard debit card, a Social Security card and the saleswoman’s American Airlines mileage card.

Moving Targets

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times: If the homicidal maniac in the next vehicle wants to cut ahead of you, let ’em. You’ve got bigger fish to fry. Apparently, one motorist didn’t take that advice to heart as she was crossing the 59th Street Bridge on Aug. 25 and did something (though what that something was wasn’t specified by the cops) to antagonize the driver of a nearby silver Dodge Intrepid.

So the Intrepid pulled up alongside the woman’s vehicle, an argument ensued, and the Intrepid cut in front of the woman’s car as they reached the exit ramp at 62nd Street and Second Avenue. As the driver pulled this maneuver, the front-seat passenger decided to settle the dispute once and for all by pulling out a pistol and firing one round at the offending vehicle.

The bullet missed its target. But it did strike a second car, a 2002 Hyundai Sonata, in the passenger-side rear door. That vehicle was occupied by a female and two males. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the Intrepid fled the scene northbound on First Avenue. The police canvassed the area, with negative results.

Falling Temperatures

Many New Yorkers walk down the street expecting to be beaned at any moment by objects falling from high floors. What’s surprising is that it doesn’t happen more often. However, on Aug. 7 it almost did in front of 530 Park Avenue.

The incident occurred shortly before 6:14 p.m., when the cops, responding to the scene, discovered not one but two air conditioners in the street. The officers also noticed a third unit dangling precariously from a 10th-floor window.

They froze the area-prudently detouring southbound traffic on Park Avenue-and summoned the Fire Department, which dispatched a ladder truck to secure the remaining unit.

Further investigation revealed that the incident was caused by what the cops characterized as a “chain reaction.” Apparently, the first air conditioner fell from apartment 12E and landed on apartment 11C’s air conditioner, which, in turn, struck the air conditioner on the 10th floor.

From there, two of the three appliances traveled the rest of the way to the street unobstructed, except for an occupied vehicle which they struck before finally hitting the ground. However, no injuries were reported, and no foul play was suspected.

Based on a preliminary investigation, the police believe that “poor installation” might have been behind the 12th-floor unit’s decision to secede from the building.

Your Light or Your Life

A flashlight might not seem the most precious of possessions-unless the date is Aug. 14, the night of the blackout. A 14-year-old bearing the beacon was on the phone at East 91st Street and First Avenue when a perp, described as a 25-year-old male, approached him from behind and asked for the light.

When the teenager courageously declined to part with his equipment, his assailant then demanded his money, putting a gun to his face for emphasis. Nonetheless, the young man ran away without giving up his property, and the perp-apparently deciding that anyone that attached to his possessions deserves to keep them-walked away southbound on First Avenue.

The police canvassed the area, with negative results. In any case, the teenager told the cops that he wouldn’t be able to identify his assailant, apparently due to the extreme, unnatural-or rather natural-darkness of the evening.

Ralph Gardner Jr. can be reached at The Crime Blotter