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Men Arrested for Allegedly Stealing $1,000 in Books From Barnes and Noble

By Leslie Albrecht | October 15, 2013 4:26pm
 The Barnes & Noble on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope. Two men were arrested after trying to steal more than $1,000 in books recently, according to a police report.
The Barnes & Noble on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope. Two men were arrested after trying to steal more than $1,000 in books recently, according to a police report.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

PARK SLOPE — A pair of book bandits stole some valuable volumes from a Park Slope bookstore recently, according to a police report.

Police arrested Gregg Roberts, 43, and Edwin Melecio, 42, on Oct. 8 after they allegedly stashed more than $1,000 in books in a black suitcase as they walked around the Barnes & Noble on Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street about 5:45 p.m.

Both men were charged with grand larceny, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.

A store manager declined to comment and referred questions to the bookseller's corporate office, which didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Messages left for the men's lawyers were not immediately returned.

Other notable crimes in this week's blotter at the 78th Precinct include the following, with details from police reports:

• A thief on a BMX bike snatched an iPhone away from a woman who was sitting on a bench on Sterling Place and Flatbush Avenue on Oct. 12 about 7 p.m.

• A 25-year-old man was opening his apartment door on 15th Street near Prospect Park West at 4 a.m. on Oct. 5 when a thief ran up and snatched his cellphone, wallet and briefcase. The briefcase was later found in Prospect Park.

• A 37-year-old woman had her purse stolen from the back of her chair at Bogota Latin Bistro on Fifth Avenue and St. John's Place on Oct. 12 about 8 p.m. The woman left her seat to go to the bathroom and returned to find her valuables gone. A camera inside the restaurant caught a clear photo of the thief's face, but no arrests have been made.

• A trio of thieves grabbed five iPods from a display case at P.C. Richard & Son at Atlantic and Fourth avenues on Oct. 5. One thief lifted the lid of the display case and another grabbed the MP3 players while a third stood watch.

• In an unrelated case, police arrested a man for allegedly using a stolen credit card to buy more than $36,000 in electronics from the same P.C. Richard & Son over the course of several days in August. A store employee recognized the thief when he visited the store on Oct. 11. Police arrested Robert Cruz, 50. He was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

• More than $4,500 in jewelry was stolen from a Park Place apartment on Oct. 1. The 41-year-old victim told police the jewels — including Tiffany & Co. diamond earrings, a ruby necklace and sapphire ring — were inside a bag inside a closet in the apartment.

• A 53-year-old man had $35 in cash and a debit card stolen from his wallet while it was stowed in a locker at the YMCA on Ninth Street and Sixth Avenue on Oct. 13.

• A 32-year-old mom had her wallet stolen while she was shopping at the Target inside the Atlantic Center mall on Oct. 8. The victim was tending to her child when a thief snatched the wallet out of the child's baby carriage.

• A Garfield Place and Sixth Avenue apartment was burglarized on Oct. 10 after the tenant went to work and left the living room window open. The thief got away with a laptop, some amethyst earrings, and a box of spare change.

• An apartment on Garfield Place near Prospect Park West was burglarized Oct. 11 after a thief climbed in through a back window. The burglar stole jewelry and a laptop.

Overall in the 78th Precinct, major crimes have dropped 3 percent this year compared with the same period during 2012, according to the most recent NYPD statistics.