WEST VILLAGE — A pair of workers at a popular hookah bar teamed up to steal an iPhone that had fallen out of a customer's pocket — and one of the workers also stole another customer's camera, police said.
The duo, Benjamin Pescador, 42, and Mauricio Abriz-Rojas, 28, worked at Casa La Femme, a popular Egyptian restaurant and hookah bar. At about 10 p.m. on Nov. 2, they spotted a $600 iPhone that had fallen out of a customer's pocket and onto the floor, police said.
According to the NYPD, Pescador picked up the phone and covered it with a plate he was removing from a table. He then passed it to Abriz-Rojas, according to police.
A savvy manager at the restaurant caught the pair in the act on a surveillance video and called the police, who arrested the workers on Nov. 7 and found the stolen phone in Abriz-Rojas' locker, police said.
Police also accused Pescador of the earlier theft of a customer's expensive Canon SLR camera, which went missing from the floor next to her at the hookah bar on Oct. 21.
Pescador was charged with petit larceny in both cases.
When police arrested Abriz-Rojas, he identified himself as Sebastian Cortez — the fake name he had given his managers at the restaurant. It was only later that he admitted his real name, and told police that he found Cortez's ID and credit card "on the train," police said.
Abriz-Rojas was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and false personation and was being held on $5,000 bail as of Wednesday.
A manager at the restaurant declined to comment.
Information about lawyers for Pescador and Abriz-Rojas was not immediately available.