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Livery Driver Dupes Ritz-Carlton Guest Out of $1,000, Cops Say

By Irene Plagianos | October 10, 2013 9:29am
 A woman staying at the Ritz-Carlton was duped out of $1,000 by what she said was a livery cab driver.
A woman staying at the Ritz-Carlton was duped out of $1,000 by what she said was a livery cab driver.
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Chris Hondos/Getty Images

LOWER MANHATTAN — A livery cabbie driving a tourist to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Downtown ripped her off by $1,000 after using a sneaky iPhone app trick to steal her debit card and PIN number, according to cops.

The Lincoln Town Car driver, who's still on the lam, picked up the 34-year-old woman from Mexico City on the corner of Bleecker Street and Seventh Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. on Friday and drove her to the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park City, according to police reports.

When they arrived at the 2 West St. hotel, the woman gave the driver her Citibank debit card to pay, and the driver told her he was using an iPhone app to process her card — but said he needed her personal identification number, she told cops.

After the woman gave him her PIN, he gave her back a card that looked like hers, and she left the car, police said.

The woman soon realized that he had given her a dummy debit card, and used her real card and PIN to steal $1,000 from her bank account while also making two small purchases, totaling $40, cops said.

Police were still investigating the incident as of Wednesday.

Other notable crimes in this week's NYPD blotter in the 1st Precinct include:

► A woman had her purse snatched by a man pretending to help her after she fell on a subway platform at about 1:15 a.m. on Oct. 5, police said. The 60-year-old victim told cops that she tripped as she rushed to catch her train in the Fulton Street station. A man approached her, seemingly trying to help her get up, but instead he grabbed her $300 Coach bag and ran off. The handbag also contained $500 in cash, two diamond necklaces, one worth $900, the other worth $500, as well a $400 pair of gold earrings and a $300 Tiffany necklace.

► A man pretending to be a potential customer stole a $10,000 Breitling watch from Renaissance Jewelers at 225 Broadway on Oct. 4, police said. A store salesman told cops that a man came into the store at about 11:45 a.m. and asked to see watches that were locked behind a display case. After the thief tried on a third watch, the salesman turned around for a moment, and the robber quickly fled the store wearing the pricey timepiece. The salesman chased the thief down Broadway and then west on Vesey Street, but soon lost him in a crowd of people.

► A woman had her $2,200 Fendi bag stolen as she drank coffee in Aroma Espresso Bar at 100 Church St. on Oct. 3, police said. The woman said she placed her bag at her feet, and when she eventually went to grab her purse, at about 4:30 p.m., her bag was missing.