PARK SLOPE — Two sharp-eyed cops caught a repeat offender burglar after he allegedly swiped a vacuum cleaner from a Fourth Avenue apartment building, police said.
Sgt. Jonathan Catanzaro and Officer Talat Awad trailed the alleged thief as he cased "numerous" residential buildings on the morning of April 17, according to a police report. The suspected crook tried opening the front door at 259 Fourth Ave., but it was locked.
When the persistent suspect reached 543 Carroll St. just before noon, the two cops spotted him using a screwdriver to get into the front door, then watched as he allegedly snatched a Hoover vacuum cleaner.
Police arrested Amaury Villalobos, 43, at the scene. A police source described Villalobos as "a known burglar." "It was good police work, definitely," the source said.
Other notable crimes in this week's blotter at the 78th Precinct included the following, with details from police reports:
• A high roller had his wallet stolen at Franny's, the recently reopened pizza restaurant on Flatbush Avenue between Eighth Avenue and Sterling Place. The victim, a 32-year-old resident of Dallas, Tex., told cops he paid his tab with an American Express Platinum card, and left his wallet on his table when he left the restaurant about 11 p.m. on April 15. When he returned later that night, the wallet was gone. It held $400 in cash, two American Express credit cards with limits of $20,000 and over, and two Visa credit cards.
• A 22-year-old woman had her $350 Louis Vuitton wallet stolen out of her jacket at Flatbush Farm on St. Mark's and Flatbush Avenue. The victim was sitting at the bar on April 19 and left her jacket behind a chair. The stolen wallet contained $100 in cash. A charge for $113 was made at an MTA vending machine on one of the victim's stolen credit cards.
• A 44-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly punched a woman and stole her wallet while she was cleaning a law office on Fourth Avenue and 13th Street. Mark Malone allegedly took the victim's wallet out of her backpack, then hid it inside his jacket, saying, "I didn't take your money." When the 53-year-old victim tried to stop Malone from leaving, he allegedly punched her in the face.