Greenwich Village & SoHo

Crime & Mayhem

Face Tattoo Gave Away Accused Village Restaurant Burglar, Police Say

December 1, 2011 1:00pm | Updated December 1, 2011 1:00pm
Police arrested a man for burglarizing a Village restaurant after recognizing a large tattoo of a bird on his right cheekbone.
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — This accused burglar could have really used a ski mask.

Police arrested a 22-year-old man suspected of robbing the East 13th Street restaurant Souen after recognizing a tattoo of a bird on the man's face, NYPD sources said. 

Suspect Jorge Molina was allegedly running from police in Greenwich Village the afternoon of Sun., Nov. 20, when officers recalled having seen his face in surveillance video of a recent burglary, Sixth Precinct Lt. Keith Maresca said at a precinct community council meeting Wednesday night. 

"[Molina] was wearing similar clothes to what he had on in his wanted picture, and the tattoo on the face was obviously very distinguishable," Maresca said. 

Souen's three locations serve vegetarian, macrobiotic food.
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Surveillance video stills of the Souen restaurant burglary distributed by police on Nov. 15 show a man with a large, black tattoo of a bird covering his right cheekbone.

Molina and another man allegedly broke into the 28 E. 13th St. organic restaurant about 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 14 and stole approximately $670, according to court records. 

Luke Stevens, a server at Souen restaurant, which promotes harmony among diners through simple food, told DNAinfo earlier this month that the burglars appeared to have broken in through a window on the roof. 

Molina was charged with felony burglary in the incident and is being held on Rikers Island on $15,000 bail.

An investigation of the second man who robbed the restaurant is ongoing, Maresca added. 

This is not the first time the man with the bird tattoo has been in trouble with the law. Molina did jail time earlier this year for possession of stolen property.

According to court records, he was arrested Jan. 6 on First Avenue near St. Marks Place for allegedly stealing "multiple pairs of gold earrings, necklaces and a topaz ring" — all valued at more than $3,000 — from the home of someone he knew. 

Molina pled guilty to the felony charges on June 23 and was released from Rikers Island on July 14. 

He's due in Manhattan Criminal Court on the restaurant burglary charges Feb. 21. 

DNAinfo's Crime & Safety Report shows that the 6th Precinct, which covers Greenwich Village, has some of the city's highest per capita crime