Crime Blotter

Perp Tempts Fate By

Staging Heist at Doughnut Shop

Some crooks have ice water running through their veins. But the guy who robbed the Dunkin’ Donuts at 1225 First Avenue on Jan. 20 apparently had anti-freeze coursing through his arteries-so cool was he when he unexpectedly crossed paths with a couple of cops, his crime virtually still in progress.

At first glance, one would think robbing a doughnut shop wouldn’t be a wise move, given the average police officer’s affinity for fried dough. And, indeed, shortly after the crook (who was described as five feet tall and wearing a black leather jacket with a black ball cap on backward) pulled the stickup, he did encounter a couple of cops who were, at that very moment, entering the doughnut shop in search of sustenance.

Rather than panic-or surrender-the perp, betraying no nerves, walked out onto the street while one of the cops, who had no idea he’d just committed a crime, held the door for him. However, instead of bolting as soon as he exited, which might have seemed like the prudent thing to do, the perp, in turn, held the door for the cop’s partner, obviously making himself appear the picture of innocence, a paragon of politesse.

It was only after the crook had safely departed that the cashier informed the officers that the guy they’d just held the door for had bought a cup of coffee and then ordered the employee to “Give me the money” indicating a possible weapon in his right coat pocket.

He also told the worker to open the safe. His victim replied that he didn’t have access to the safe but gave him between $200 and $300 in $20’s from the cash register instead. The suspect put the money in his Dunkin’ Donuts bag along with his coffee before leaving.

As soon as the cops heard what happened, they rushed out in search of the perp. And shortly after their departure two more police officers, arriving for their nightly toasted-coconut or chocolate-glazed fix, dropped by. It was the latter two cops who called 911 after the cashier also told them the story. Unfortunately, it was too little too late, as the thief was long gone. A canvass of the area yielded negative results.

A store video camera apparently caught all the comings and goings, a crime scene was established, and the NYPD sent over an evidence-collection team to dust the counter and doorknobs for prints.

Personal Shopper From Hell

Speaking of never letting them see you sweat, Intermix, a boutique at 1003 Madison Avenue, received a visit from a thief with sang-froid to spare on Jan. 6; she presented herself as a personal shopper for one of the store’s frequent customers.

The suspect, an approximately 30-year-old woman described as wearing black corduroy boots and having an overbite, seemed to know a lot about her boss, including her American Express card number and its expiration date. Intermix contacted the customer-or someone impersonating the customer, as it turned out-who verified all the credit-card information. Once she did, the store let her putative personal shopper purchase 29 pieces of apparel valued at $11,353.

The boutique later became suspicious and decided to double-check with Amex, which informed them that the credit card’s true owner, an East 75th Street resident, hadn’t authorized the purchases. The perp was last seen departing in a yellow cab.

Plastic Madness

Perhaps Intermix-or Amex, or whoever-should feel lucky they only got taken for 11 grand. A 765 Park Avenue resident reported to the police, also on Jan. 6, that an unknown crook charged a $15,000 watch and a $33,000 automobile to his Amex card, which apparently had a sky-high spending limit.

The victim, a 72-year-old male, only learned of the theft when he received a call from his credit-card company inquiring whether he’d made the purchases and also changed his address. He’d done neither. Indeed, he still had his card and had no idea how the thief got his account number.


One crook went too far enforcing the city’s smoking ban on Jan. 20. A 29-year-old man was standing in front of his East 65th Street residence around 2:45 p.m. when a male with a Southern accent approached him and stated, “Run your shit.” For those unfamiliar with street talk, that means go through your pockets with alacrity and hand over anything of value. Unfortunately, the victim thought the other guy was asking for a cigarette-which perhaps sounds similar if the request is delivered in a drawl-and he gave him one.

However, the perp wasn’t a smoker, judging from his reaction: He slashed the victim under the chin with an unknown gray object before fleeing in an unknown direction. The wound was apparently serious enough that the detective assigned to investigate the case had to travel to the hospital to interview the victim.

Ralph Gardner Jr. can be reached at

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