Yesterday, a man went on a thieving spree in Crown Heights, attempting to steal from a Kingston Avenue store and stealing multiple packages from people’s doorsteps. Shomrim volunteers cornered the man into his apartment, but he still managed to evade arrest.
The incident began yesterday, Tuesday, April 12, in the afternoon. Shomrim received a call from the manager of First Quality Paper Goods, located on the corner of Crown and Kingston, that a man attempted to run off with two cases filled with merchandise.
The store manager confronted the man and retrieved the stolen goods, and then followed him as he fled down Crown Street towards Brooklyn Ave., while calling Shomrim.
By the time Shomrim arrived, the man had disappeared from sight. Unbeknown to Shomrim at the time, the man had escaped into an apartment building on the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and Carroll Street, where he want on a “stealing rampage,” filling up a garbage bag and a shopping cart with packages left at people’s doorsteps.
About 20 Minutes after they got the call, a Shomrim volunteer spotted the suspect pushing a shopping cart filled with boxes and carrying a garbage bag (which was later revealed to be filled with even more packages – all from the same building) over his shoulder, near the corner of Kingston and Carroll. The suspect, realizing he had been identified, fled down Carroll Street towards Albany Ave., and entered an apartment building on that corner.
The volunteers followed him into the building, and just managed to see the door of an apartment closing, with the cart and garbage bag left outside the door. A quick glance at the cart and bag revealed that they had been stolen from the building on Carroll and Brooklyn. CrownHeights.info later obtained surveillance footage from the building showing the man going around with a garbage bag and stealing packages from residents’ doorsteps.
Armed with irrefutable evidence of a crime committed, and knowing the man was in the apartment, Shomrim called the police, and stationed a couple of members outside near the apartment’s windows to ensure the suspect did not escape.
Police arrived and knocked on the apartment door. A younger man answered, and when asked about the suspect, “played dumb” and gave vague answers. Police asked if they could search the apartment, and he responded that the apartment was rented by the bedroom to different tenants, and as such he could only allow the police to search in specific parts. Unsurprisingly, the limited ‘search’ did not turn up the suspect.
Based on the information and photo obtained from Shomrim, police identified the suspect as a middle-aged African-American man with an extensive criminal history, who indeed resides in that apartment.
The Shomrim volunteers who were keeping watch outside saw the suspect peeking through the window several times, but despite all this, the police officers said they had no cause to believe the man was inside the apartment. They requested that a criminal report be filed, and left the scene.
Following this incident, Shomrim were notified by a Crown Heights resident that a package had been stolen from their doorstep the day before, on Monday, and that the perpetrator had been caught on surveillance camera. Inspection of the footage confirmed that it is the same man.