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POLICE BLOTTER - c

THREE BANK ROBBERIES PINNED TO ONE MAN: Police believe that one man is responsible for at least three bank robberies that took place on Avenue U and on nearby Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York. The note-passing bank robber, described as a white male between 40 and 50-years-old, between 5’7” and 5’10” tall and 190 to 210 pounds, reportedly hit two locations, the HSBC Bank at 1330 Pennsylvania Avenue and the North Fork Bank and the North Fork Bank at 1618 Avenue U, on the morning of January 17. Cops later connected him to a robbery at the Commerce Bank at 1602 Avenue U on January In each case, he handed the teller a note that read, “Don’t be stupid. Give me money.” The suspect threatened to become violent if she didn’t hand over the money in the till. While it was unclear how much was taken from the HSBC Bank, officials said that the suspect took $1900 from the North Fork bank and $2,300 from the robbery earlier in the month. During the North Fork bank robbery, the suspect was seen stuffing the bills in his pockets before running off. In one of the robberies, the suspect was wearing a black knife hat, grey hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, black jacket, sneakers and black gloves. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this man’s whereabouts to call (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. *** TWO SHOT DURING ROBBERY: Two young men were shot during a robbery last week as they made their way to a neighborhood bus stop. Officials said that the two victims were walking down East 101st Street between Avenue J and Flatlands late Saturday night, January 14, when they were stopped by an unidentified gunman. The victims reportedly decided to fight back, said officials. After a brief struggle, the gunman retained his weapon and fired off three shots, striking each of the two victims. Police said that the victims were rushed to an area hospital and none of the injuries were considered life threatening. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to come forward. Tipsters, police said, could receive up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible. Calls can be made to either the 69th Precinct at (718) 257-6211. All calls will be kept confidential. *** SHOOTER SOUGHT: Police are continuing to look for the gunman who shot a 25-year-old man after posing he question, “Remember me?” Police said that the victim was walking toward the rear of 2045 Rockaway Parkway at 5:40 a.m. Sunday, December 4, when the gunman walked up in front of him. After asking the question, the suspect pistol-whipped the victim, shot him in the arm, and ran off. The victim was taken to Brookdale Hospital where he was treated and released. As of this writing, detectives from the 69th Precinct were trying to track the gunman down. Cops are asking anyone with information about the shooting to come forward. Tipsters, police said, could receive up to $2,000 if their information leads to the arrest and indictment of those responsible. Calls can be made to the 69th Precinct at (718) 257-6211. All calls will be kept confidential. *** COPS: HELP CLEAN UP GRAFFITI WHILE EARNING SOME GREEN: As the ongoing war against graffiti vandals continues, cops are now offering up to $500 in reward money to anyone who can offer them information that can lead them to anyone who commits graffiti vandalism. The hefty reward is part of the city’s new push to rid New York of graffiti vandals. Graffiti is one of the leading quality of life complaints brought to police. Officials said that cleaning up graffiti is essential to the plan, to show that the community is no longer going to tolerate marred and tagged-up walls and street corners. According to police there is a perception that if a community will tolerate graffiti, they will tolerate other criminal activities, such as drug dealing and prostitution. Anyone with information about graffiti vandalism is urged to contact either 311 or 911. *** TEEN KILLED FOLLOWING SWEET 16 PARTY: Two teens were shot, one fatally, last week as gunfire erupted near the corner of East 52nd and Winthrop streets, eviscerating the joys of a nearby Sweet 16 party. As this paper went to press, cops were still trying to track down the gunman, who opened fire on 17-year-old Ronald Petgrave of East 91st Street just after 1:30 a.m. on January 22. Police said that Petgrave and another teen were leaving the party for a classmate when several shots were fired. The shooter may have been laying in wait for the teen, officials said. Both teens were hit and rushed to Kings County Hospital where Petgrave died of his injuries. He had been shot five times, officials said. The other wounded teen was listed in stable condition following treatment. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Tipsters could receive up to $2,000 for information leading to the gunman’s arrest and indictment. Calls can be made to either the 67th Precinct at (718) 287-3211 or the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. *** ABUSIVE PRIEST PLEADS GUILTY: A Flatbush priest accused of sexually abusing one of his altar boys pleaded guilty last week. Prosecutors confirmed that Father Joseph Byrns, a former spiritual leader at St. Rose of Lima Church at 269 Parkville Avenue, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of endangering the welfare of a child, admitting that he touched the altar boy inappropriately on several occasions between 2000 and 2002. Court watchers expect that Byrns will be given three years probation at his sentencing on March 7. Byrns was indicted on 20 counts in sex abuse in the second degree following his arrest in 2004, after his 11-year-old victim and his family moved from Brooklyn to Florida. The defrocked priest faced 25 years in prison on the initial charges, officials said. *** BUSTED WITH GUN: A man was arrested armed with a .45 caliber gun after police broke up a brawl at the corner of East 34th Street and Clarendon Road last week. Police from the 67th Precinct were called to beak up the disorderly group at 3:50 a.m. on January 22 when Police Officer Michael Fahmy allegedly saw Ricardo James secreting a .45 caliber pistol in his waistband. Officer Fahmy grabbed James and took him into custody, charging him with criminal possession of a weapon. *** ATTACKED ON FLATBUSH: A 19-year-old man told cops that he was jumped for no reason in front of 85 Flatbush Avenue, officials said last week. The victim said that he was on his way home at 10:30 p.m. on January 12 when three unidentified black males jumped him. The victim managed to run away, not realizing until he got home that he sustained a deep cut to the back of his neck. Police were told that two of the suspects in the attack were wearing red shirts, although it is unclear if this incident can be attributed to the Blood street gang, who are known to sport red colors. Cops are investigating. *** COPS INVESTIGATE SEX ATTACK: Police are continuing to investigate a 14-year-old girl’s claim that she was abducted and sexually abused by three men in Ditmas Park last month. The victim said that she was walking past the corner of Westminster and Cortelyou Roads at 11 p.m. on December 30 when the three suspects allegedly grabbed her. The suspects held her down, took off her clothes and molested her, officials were told. They also forced her to perform a sex act on them. When they were done, the suspects threw her out of a grey SUV and fled the scene. Officials said that the girl was traumatized and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. Police are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Tipsters could receive up to $2,000 if their information leads them to the arrest and indictment of the ones responsible. Calls can be made to either the 70th Precinct at (718) 851-5511 or the NYPD Crimestoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. *** COPS INVESTIGATE HIT AND RUN: Cops are looking for the driver of a dark-colored vehicle who ended the life of a 53-year-old man Friday night. Officials said that the victim, who was not named, was crossing in front of 616 Rogers Avenue at 10 p.m. on January 13 when he was struck down. All witnesses saw was a dark-colored vehicle speeding away, officials said. The victim was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he died of his injuries 15 minutes later. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Tipsters could receive up to $2,000 for information leading to the motorist’s arrest and conviction. Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. *** MAN KILLED ON UTICA: A 24-year-old Queens resident was shot to death on Utica Avenue early Sunday morning, police from the 63rd Precinct said. Officials said that the victim, identified as Gavin Morris of 228th Street, was arguing with another man at 3:45 a.m. on January 8 when the suspect pulled a gun and shot him in the chest. Morris was rushed to Kings County Hospital where he died of his injuries a short time later. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Tipsters could receive up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible. Calls can be made to either the 63rd Precinct at (718) 258-4411 or the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. *** FIRE RIPS THROUGH SYNAGOGUE: Fire Marshals are trying to determine what started a small fire that broke out inside the Ohave Torah synagogue at 1669 East 19th Street near Quentin Road last week. No injuries were reported during the 10:30 a.m. blaze on January 21. It’s believed that the fire was sparked inside the synagogue part of the brick one family home. While it is unclear what started the fire as of press time, police from the 61st Precinct do not believe that the incident is a bias crime. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call (800) FIRE-TIP. All calls will be kept confidential. *** ROAD RAGE ON OCEAN PARKWAY: A 46-year-old motorcyclist was arrested last week following a road rage incident on Ocean Parkway near Avenue P. Police said that John Hertel of the 2300 block of Knapp Street was riding his motorcycle near the corner when he allegedly got into an argument with another motorist, who was in a car. Hertel claimed that the motorist, 44, was driving too close to him on the parkway. When the two stopped at a light on Avenue P, they confronted each other. Once his victim got out of his car, Hertel punched him in the left shoulder, officials allege. The victim doubled back, complaining of an injury, police said. As the victim was removed to Coney Island Hospital for treatment, responding officers charged Hertel with assault. *** EMT TEACHER MUGGED: A woman who organizes a neighborhood EMT class was mugged of the tuition she had collected last week as she left an address on the 1200 block of Avenue T. The woman, a 23-year-old from Avenue N, told police that she was exiting the building at 12:20 p.m. on January 17 when two males grabbed her. The two men reportedly covered her face and ripped her pocketbook away from her before running off. Police were told that $14,000 in tuition taken from the EMT class was in the bag when it was taken from her. It was unclear at press time if the woman was robbed in front of the place where the classes are held. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call the 61st Precinct at (718) 627-6611. All calls will be kept confidential. *** CARS VANDALIZED: Police responded to a pair of vandalism reports last week where miscreants smashed the windshields of two vehicles down the block from each other on East 14th Street. Police said that a 1999 Hyundai had its windshield smashed in as it stood in front of 1817 East 14th Street sometime between 7:30 p.m. on January 19 and 7:30 a.m. the following morning. Cops were then told that vandals attacked a 1997 Ford Taurus parked in front of 1840 East 14th Street – just down the street, sometime between 4:15 p.m. on January 19 and 5:40 a.m. the next morning. It, too, had a damaged windshield, officials said. Police are investigating. *** EAGER FOR ESCALADES: Two Cadillac Escalades were collected during a neighborhood sweep by car thieves on Avenue R last week, officials from the 61st Precinct said. Officials said that both luxury sports utility vehicles were taken right from their owners’ driveways on the 2900 and 2950 block of Avenue R respectively on the night of January 20. Cops were told that the first car, a 2005 Escalade was taken sometime between 10 p.m. that Friday and 6 a.m. the following morning. The other vehicle, a 2004 model, was last seen standing proudly in its driveway at 11:30 a.m. Friday. At 10 a.m. the following morning, the victim, 48, reported it missing. Police are investigating.

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