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NYPD Seeks Alleged Swindler in Queens

By Wil Cruz | May 11, 2012 5:20pm | Updated on May 11, 2012 5:30pm

ELMHURST — The NYPD is looking for an alleged swindler who stole thousands of dolllars from unsuspecting apartment hunters in Elmhurst.

The suspect, a man in his 30s, allegedly lured people searching for apartments to vacant units late last year by posting listings on a utility pole, police said. Once there, the victims were asked to leave deposits — ranging from $1,400 to $2,300 — to put on a hold on the apartment.

After the victims left the down payments, however, the would-be real estate agent would disappear by the time they were ready to move in. The cell he provided them would be disconnected, too, police said.

The NYPD said the alleged thief struck six times. On October 21, he allegedly drew apartment seekers to 94-17 42nd Avenue and stole $1,500 and $1,650 from two different victims; on November 12, he swindled $1,600 from someone who visited a unit at 41-80 Denman Street.

Then he lured three victims to 100-22 40th Road on November 25 and 29, when he stole $1,400, $1,500 and $2,300 from them, police said.

Cops are asking for the public's help in tracking him down. He is described as having dark hair, standing between 5-feet-8-inches and 5-feet-10-inches and weighing about 150 pounds.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, logging onto www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then entering TIP577.