PARK SLOPE — Two residents of a Third Street apartment building had checks stolen out of their mailboxes recently, costing one man $9,500, police said.
On June 4, a 55-year-old resident — who had ordered new checks but never received them — told cops she had gotten a phone call from her bank telling her someone had tried to cash one check for $4,000 and another for $4,500.
On June 15, a 35-year-old resident in the same building, on Third Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, reported his checkbook had been stolen from the building’s mailbox and fraudulent checks totaling $9,500 had been written.
Other notable crimes in this week's blotter at the 78th Precinct included the following, with details from police reports:
• The tires and rims were stolen off a 2010 Nissan GTX sedan parked at Second Street and Prospect Park West on June 11. The 54-year-old car owner, who lives nearby, told cops he parked the vehicle on June 7. At about 3:30 a.m. on June 11 he heard his car alarm go off and discovered all four tires and a set of 20-inch rims valued at $8,000 had been stolen.
• A 2001 Ducati motorcycle was stolen from St. Marks Place between Fourth and Fifth avenues on June 10. The 40-year-old owner told cops he parked the bike in front of his apartment and went away for the weekend. The $6,500 motorcycle was missing when he returned three days later.
Cops responded to three cell phone thefts in the space of four days.
• On June 12 at 9:45 p.m. a thief approached a 30-year-old woman from behind and snatched her cell phone out of her hand as she was walking up the stairs to the 4/5 platform at the Atlantic Avenue subway station.
• On June 13 about 7 p.m. a 27-year-old woman was checking messages on her iPhone 5 on the southwest corner of Third Street and Fifth Avenue when a man on a bike snatched the device from her right hand. The thief sped off on Third Street toward Fourth Avenue. Also stolen was the victim’s J. Crew phone case.
• On June 15 about 2 a.m., a 23-year-old man fell asleep on a southbound R train and woke up to his fellow passengers telling him a woman had stolen his iPhone out of his left shirt pocket. The train was stopped at Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue when the thief struck and then fled. Witnesses said the woman appeared to be about 35 years old.
Cell phone thefts are a citywide trend that police call "apple picking" when the thefts involve iPhones. The NYPD's Community Affairs bureau recently released a set of tips on how to avoid becoming a phone theft victim.