Crime Blotter

Heat-Packing Post Reader

Puts News to Work For Him

Rupert Murdoch is alleged to have once asked Bloomingdale’s chief executive Marvin Traub why his department store didn’t advertise in the New York Post . Mr. Traub famously replied, “Your readers are our shoplifters.”

If the HSBC bank shows similar reluctance to advertise in the News Corp. tabloid, a Nov. 6 incident at their 45 East 89th Street branch may have something to do with it. At approximately 12:16 p.m., the police received a call of a suspicious person at the bank. The suspect, a 58-year-old East 233rd Street resident, had apparently been loitering in both the bank and the A.T.M. vestibule for about an hour, “looking into and out of the bank repeatedly,” according to the police.

He had also waited on line for a teller, whom he’d asked what time the bank closed. He didn’t transact any business, including holding up the place. When the cops arrived on the scene, two female bank employees motioned to the suspect, indicating that he was the individual they’d called 911 about.

The police started to question the guy, who backed away and then disregarded their orders to stop. In the process of physically restraining him, the cops recovered a note the suspect was holding in his hand. It stated, “I have a gun! Give me all the money in your drawer. Don’t make me shoot anyone over money that don’t belong to you.”

But he was also carrying a second piece of literature in his pocket that provided some strong evidence as to where he got the bright idea of robbing the bank in the first place. It was a clipping from the Post ‘s police-blotter column, which carried an item (with a photograph) about a crook who had successfully robbed the same bank branch a couple of weeks earlier.

The perp in this incident was arrested for attempted robbery and possession of burglar’s tools-the “tools” evidently including items other than the Post story.

Generous Gym Girl

As much as we celebrate the impulse to give this holiday season, an employee at the Equinox gym at 140 East 63rd Street may have taken charity a bit too far during the month of October when she filched gift cards valued at $1,400, made them redeemable as cash, and handed them out to her friends.

When confronted with her crime by her bosses on Oct. 25, the suspect allegedly admitted to the scheme and promised to pay back half the money on Nov. 7. As recently as Nov. 6, she had been in contact with the gym, still vowing to make good the following day. However, Nov. 7 came and went without a visit, and now the 21-year-old Brooklyn resident is wanted for grand larceny.

Victims Take Note

Madison Avenue may be one of the city’s most picturesque boulevards; it’s also one of the most desolate late at night, when most good doctors, lawyers and investment bankers who live in the neighborhood are at home in bed, as a 58-year-old East 77th Street resident discovered at 11:10 p.m. on Nov. 20.

That’s when he was accosted by two young men at the northwest corner of 84th Street and Madison Avenue, one of whom approached him from behind and stated, “Give me your money or I’ll stab you.” The thief’s accomplice then reached into the victim’s inside jacket pocket and removed his wallet, which contained $31 in cash and an American Express platinum card. Then both perps fled north on Madison Avenue and west on 85th Street.

As quiet as the avenue is, it also happens to be rather well-policed. The perps were soon noticed by cops in a passing patrol car, who watched as one of them threw a wallet on the ground and then both continued on their way. In the meantime, another patrol car had picked up the victim at 85th Street and Madison and proceeded to canvass the area with him.

In doing so, they spotted a man who they believe may have been one of the crooks hiding behind a van. The police car stopped, and one of its officers got out to have a word with the suspect, who wasn’t in a conversational mood and took off again, this time in the direction of Central Park, and with an officer in pursuit.

The chase culminated when the suspect, a 21-year-old male, leaped the wall into the park-but, unfortunately for him, also into the clutches of several units from both the Central Park Precinct and the 19th Precinct.

However, the entire exercise was for naught: A “show-up” was conducted with the victim, but he was unable to positively identify the suspect, so the man was released. The second perp remains on the loose.

A police officer argued that the case illustrated the need for the citizenry to hone their observation skills. “A lot of people are not good when they see a perp,” she said, adding that as flustered as the average mugging victim may be, it wouldn’t hurt to make a mental note of what the assailant was wearing.

Ralph Gardner Jr. can be reached at

Crime Blotter