Crime Blotter

Who Stole the Silverware?

Serial Numbers Hold the Key

If you’re going to sell stolen silver-or stolen anything, for that matter-it probably helps to know in advance where the items were stolen from, as a mother-and-son team discovered on May 14.

They had visited the Silver Fund, a store that specializes in Georg Jensen silver, at 1001 Madison Avenue a few days earlier and tried to interest the staff in purchasing some goods in their possession. As it turns out, the staff was interested because the items in question had been stolen en route from the store’s London branch approximately three years earlier.

“They were shipping it from London to L.A.,” said a law-enforcement source. “The stuff was missing when it arrived in L.A.”

On their first visit, the suspects-a 50-year-old Queens woman and her 26-year-old son-provided the Silver Fund with a description of the loot they had, as well as the serial numbers. According to a law-enforcement officer, “that’s how [the store] could tell” that the items had been stolen from its London branch. “The store tells them to come back with the actual items,” the officer continued.

In the meantime, someone at the Silver Fund alerted the 19th Precinct so that, when the alleged crooks returned on May 14, not only were the store’s silver experts waiting but also the police. The items the pair brought with them (valued in excess of $50,000) included a silver candelabrum, a silver coffee pot and a silver kettle on a stand. The total value of the merchandise stolen from the L.A.-bound flight was $250,000, according to the police.

The mother, who described herself as a literacy coach, and her son, who told cops he was unemployed, were charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

Private-School Players

With private schools so popular and kindergarten spots so hard to find, even crooks are using the applications game as ruse to slip past their pearly gates. That’s what happened at the Marymount School, 1026 Fifth Avenue, when two ladies, described as being in their 20’s, visited the school at 4:50 p.m. and asked to go to the admissions office.

While they were waiting, one of them asked for directions to the bathroom as her friend signed the sign-in sheet. At the same time, she managed to block the receptionist’s view while her buddy-rather than taking advantage of the comfort facilities-walked into an office and helped herself to the contents of two employees’ purses. Her haul included two wallets (one of them by Kenneth Cole) and a Bergdorf Goodman charge card.

The perps, apparently deciding that the private-school scene wasn’t for them, fled in an unknown direction. A security camera in the school’s hallway caught one of them entering the location where the purses had been.

Tick, Tick, Boom

While Independence Day is still several weeks away, folks are already starting to stock up on fireworks. On June 3, the police responded to Lexington Avenue and 60th Street after receiving a report of a possible explosive device found in a newspaper box on the southeast corner. A pedestrian had reached into the box for a paper (given the lackadaisical maintenance of these boxes, always a risky proposition) and discovered what was described as a “black hand grenade.”

He flagged down a passing police car at 9:40 a.m., prompting the cops to create a frozen zone, diverting both vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well as train service to the 59th Street subway station. They also summoned the bomb squad, which promptly arrived to remove the object. It was pronounced to be a “common glassine … Class C firework.” Nonetheless, the explosive was transferred to a police lab for further investigation.

In another incident involving pyrotechnics, on May 30 a Bronx man was arrested in front of Gracie Mansion. The individual, described as 22 years old and emotionally disturbed, approached a police officer assigned to the Intelligence Division and declared, “The Mayor has my car. In order to get my car back, I have to trade him these packs of fireworks.” With that, he displayed his stash of 142 individual recreational explosives.

Given the Mayor’s recent noise-reduction proposals, one might have thought the fellow would have been presented with a key to the city. Instead, in an excess of caution, he was arrested for possession of fireworks.

Crime Blotter