For the first few months of this year, theft of unattended property stolen from bars denizens had been a thorn in the side of the 94th Precinct. Cops cite the prevalence of the crime as a major factor in the precinct’s increase in grand larcenies, up 25 percent from their 2007 levels.
But one March night, a precinct officer helped put a dent in these thefts by responding quickly to the scene of a robbery, starting a chain of events that would eventually lead to the apprehension of a man suspected of committing many bar thefts.
For his efforts, Officer Andrew Bielawski was named March Cop of the Month at the precinct’s Community Council meeting last Monday.
At 1 a.m. on March 24, Bielawski responded to a 911 call about a mugging, during which a male and female tandem accosted and beat up a woman before stealing her purse.
Working in plainclothes, Bielawski arrived on the scene and found a man matching the description of the male suspect “just hanging out on the street,” he said.
Bielawski arrested the man, who was shortly after positively identified by the victim.
When he asked about the whereabouts of the female suspect, the man pointed her to a nearby bar. Bielawski then went into the bar and arrested the woman.
It turned out that the woman matched the description of a suspect in a similar mugging the week earlier. When cops asked her about this mugging, she confessed to it.
She also confessed to many stolen property incidents in bars. She also implicated another man who she said was responsible for many bar thefts as well.
Soon after, precinct officers arrested this man. Since then, incidents of stolen property from bars slowed down markedly.
“The week before we arrested them, we had 10 [incidents],” said Captain Dennis Fulton.
“The next week we had two. We pretty much stopped getting hit for a little while after that,” he said.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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