No Diplomatic Immunity
For UES Flower Picker
A word of advice to crooks: It’s best to commit your crimes on streets that aren’t home to foreign consulates, especially those important enough to warrant NYPD sentry boxes in front of them. That’s the lesson one plant-loving petty criminal learned on June 23, when he chose to pick flowers at a residence on the same block as the Palestine Liberation Organization Mission at 65th Street, between Park and Lexington avenues.
A police officer assigned to the guard post spotted the crook ripping flowers from a flower box in front of 114 East 65th Street, a residence a few doors down from the mission, at 2:10 a.m. The thief, a 33-year-old West 183rd Street resident described by the police as “of Polish descent,” was placed under arrest. He didn’t try to appeal to the cops’ sympathy by claiming that he was picking the flowers for his wife or girlfriend; however, he did state that he worked for the United Nations, apparently claiming diplomatic immunity.
The NYPD Intelligence Unit, the department’s liaison to the diplomatic community, was notified of the crime but couldn’t confirm that the suspect was, in fact, employed by that august international body. He was charged with criminal mischief.
It would seem like common sense if you’re carrying something really valuable-say $70,000 worth of jewelry-to keep it close to your person at all times rather than dumping it in the trunk of a car.
That’s the lesson that one Canadian visitor to our fair city learned around noon on June 16, when he settled into a limo bound for LaGuardia Airport from the Avenue of the Americas. The victim, a 52-year-old Toronto resident, placed the bag holding the aforementioned baubles in the trunk of the car. But at 72nd Street and Madison Avenue, the limo suffered a flat tire, and the driver was forced to pull over in front of 785 Park Avenue-about as safe and decent an address as there is, or so one would think.
The limo driver opened the trunk to get his jack and change the tire while his passenger, now on the sidewalk, proceeded to make a call on his cell phone. During the course of his conversation, a blond-haired man, described as in his 30’s, approached him and asked for directions.
About 10 minutes later, the passenger went over to the trunk to fetch his bag, only to discover that it was no longer there. Neither the driver nor his passenger saw anyone go into the trunk and remove the luggage-which makes sense, since they were both distracted: the one changing a flat, and the other chatting on his cell phone and giving directions to passersby.
The police were summoned and canvassed the immediate area, but with predictably negative results. The bag contained two fancy-colored yellow diamonds valued at $40,000, 14 one-carat diamonds worth $20,000, and 40 bracelets worth $10,000.
Bread and Butter
A crook, apparently more interested in cold cash than artisanal breads, held up the venerable bakery Orwasher’s, located at 308 East 78th Street, on June 19. When he visited the store at 6:34 p.m., rather than asking for an excellent loaf of seeded rye or sourdough (make that thick-sliced), the villain passed a note to a worker demanding money.
The employee handed over $80, and the thief fled westbound on 78th Street. The police canvassed the area and put a detailed description of the perp over their police radios, yielding one suspect at 73rd Street and Fifth Avenue. Unfortunately, he turned out to be the wrong guy. On the up side, the crook’s note was recovered at the scene of the crime and is being held for safekeeping.
Stating “Let’s make this simple,” a car thief and two companions visited a garage at 167 East 84th Street on June 14 and helped themselves to a BMW and a Cadillac, both black. Their task was simplified by the fact that one of the perps had a gun, which he aimed at the garage attendant as he walked him to the back of the garage.
The employee warned his assailant that he was being videotaped by the garage’s security camera. But the cocky crook replied, “I know they don’t work”-which very well may have been true, as such cameras often don’t. The crook who’d announced the stick-up hopped into the ’97 BMW, while the third member of the raiding party got behind the wheel of the Caddy, a 2002 model. (The gunslinger took the passenger seat.) They departed eastbound on 84th Street toward Third Avenue.
However, they didn’t get very far-at least not the perp driving the Caddy. The car was stopped by the police at 130th Street and Convent, and its driver, a 37-year-old Bronx resident, was arrested for robbery. The BMW apparently remains missing, as does the Caddy’s gun-toting passenger, who somehow made a getaway.