MIDTOWN — An alert rookie police officer and some Facebook-savvy detectives helped bust a laptop thief in Midtown this week, police said.
Emilio Skipper, 18, was arrested last Tuesday on charges of third-degree burglary, after being caught on camera breaking into a pair of offices in Midtown last month, court records show. Skipper was being held on $25,000 bail.
Police had been looking for Skipper since Sept. 6, when surveillance footage caught him robbing 202 W. 40th St., followed by another robbery at 222 W. 37th St. on Sept. 12, according to Deputy Inspector Edward Winski of the Midtown South Precinct.
Skipper made off with two laptop computers, three iPads, an iPhone, jeans and T-shirts, all valued at about $5,700, according to the criminal complaint.
Police distributed wanted posters adorned with Skipper's photo, but his identity remained a mystery until a new officer serving with an NYPD Impact unit spotted the photo and recognized him as a teen he'd arrested earlier in the year, Winski said.
"The rookie saw the poster and realized he'd arrested the guy before," he said.
The officer gave the name to precinct detectives, who looked Skipper up on Facebook, police said. They found that he not only appeared to be same suspect seen on surveillance footage, but that he was wearing the same clothes in his photos as in one of the burglaries caught on tape, police added.
"It was a great caper all around," Winski said.
Skipper had previously been arrested on a domestic violence charge, according to court records.