Serial Laptop Burglar Hit 18th Street Block Five Times, Police Say
GRAMERCY — Cops are hoping to shut down this serial laptop burglary suspect.
Investigators are on the hunt for a prowler who's been slipping into Gramercy apartments through back windows and snatching computers and other valuables.
During a two-month spree that began in December, the thief racked up eight break-ins. He was brazen enough to hit five apartments on a single block of East 18th Street, between First and Second avenues, police said.
In two cases, the victims woke up while the man was inside, forcing him to flee empty handed. Police, who released a sketch of the thief, said he's between 20 and 30 years old and weighs between 160 and 170 pounds.
His run began Dec. 7, when he came in through a rear window at 340 E. 18th St. at 1:50 p.m. and made off with a bicycle and a laptop.
Over the next month, he targeted four apartments in two adjoining buildings — 332 and 336 E. 18th St. — getting away with a laptop in each case, according to cops.
In fact, the crook hit the same building, 332 E. 18th St., twice, breaking into apartments belonging to a 26-year-old man and 21-year-old woman on Dec. 14 and Dec. 20, police said.
After a morning break-in at 336 E. 18th St. on Jan. 4, he moved off the block, grabbing a laptop, jewelry and a handbag from a flat at 212 E. 29th St. on Jan. 22.
In two cases — at 244 E. 30th St. on Jan. 15, and in the most recent attempt at 229 E. 28th St. on Feb. 7 — the victims woke up while he was inside, sending him scurrying off into the night, according to cops.
The victims, men and women primarily in their 20s and 30s, were home in five of the eight cases, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or text tips to 274637.