1. Police said returning to her Fort Independence apartment from a grocery run at 8:40 a.m. on March 25, a 61-year-old woman noticed she was being followed.
The woman picked up her pace, passed through the door of 3340 Bailey Ave. and quickly notified the building manager of the man she said was following her. She pressed the button to call the elevator and was about to ascend to her floor when the follower dashed into the building and also jumped in the elevator.
The man was black and wore a black hat and white sneakers, the woman said. He began making strange noises with his mouth and shaking his hands in the pocket of his hoodie.
When the elevator opened on her floor, she snapped a picture of him. He charged at her, scaring her into a neighbor’s apartment. After 10 minutes, when the noise outside the door had ceased, she began walking across the floor back to her apartment.
The man materialized from down the hallway and accosted her.
“What’s your problem?” she asked him.
“I’m just trying to help a lady who almost got robbed by two guys a few years ago,” he said. At that point, the man started laughing, police said.
When the woman returned to her apartment, she searched for the iPhone 5S she had used to take the man’s picture, but discovered that the $450 device was missing.
The case remains open to detectives.
2. Prius put out to pasture
A 47-year-old woman parked her gray 2004 Toyota Prius at the intersection of East 233rd Street and the entrance to Major Deegan Expressway at 10 a.m. on March 26. When she returned at 1 p.m., the car was missing, police said.
After wandering in the blocks around Woodlawn Cemetery for 50 minutes, hoping that she had misplaced the vehicle, she reported it stolen to authorities, who confirmed that it had not been towed.
“We’ve had grand larceny autos at that location before,” police explained. “It’s a desolate area, like a strip. People park there because it’s convenient if they want to take the 4-train into town.”
3. Wedding ring stolen
Police said that on Monday, a burglar hit the jackpot when he broke into the home of a local 72-year-old woman.
The woman left her 515 W. 236 St. home at 12:30 p.m., locking the door as she went. When she returned at 2:30 p.m., she found the door’s locks busted and numerous prized possessions stolen. They included a gold ring with a diamond worth $2,000; a wedding band worth $5,000; another ring worth $3,000; a gold watch worth $10,000; and gold earrings worth an additional $1,000. All told, the victim lost $21,000 in goods.
A preliminary canvas of the area turned up no cameras, but police said that detectives would keep looking for surveillance tapes. Detectives would also check local pawnshops for the goods, police said.
4. Bodega robbed
Police said at 7:55 a.m. on Monday, a man entered the bodega at 2701 Webb Ave. and gestured at a hand stored in his pocket.
“Give me your money or I will kill you,” he told the 25-year-old cashier.
The 25-year-old handed the man $200 and watched him take off northbound on Webb Avenue. He described the man as black, about 40 years old, and large, at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds.
The case remains open to detectives.
5. Citizen holds drunk driver
Early Sunday morning, a drunken 26-year-old cruising toward the intersection of Fieldston Road and Mosholu Avenue crashed into another car parked along the curb, according to police. He panicked and tried to flee the scene.
But the 33-year-old driver behind him would not let him go.
Instead, the 33-year-old blocked the drunken man in and phoned police to call the 26-year-old to account. When officers arrived, the younger man refused to have his blood alcohol content tested, but was booked nevertheless for driving while intoxicated. For attempting to flee the scene, he was issued an additional summons.
Items in Police Beat are based on reports of crimes and arrests. Those arrested are not guilty unless a court convicts them. Police Beat does not include every crime in our coverage area.