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Thief Stashed Stolen Purse in His Pants at Meatpacking District Club: NYPD

By Danielle Tcholakian | February 20, 2014 7:13am
 Police said a man tried to hide a stolen purse in his pants at VIP Room in the Meatpacking District.
Police said a man tried to hide a stolen purse in his pants at VIP Room in the Meatpacking District.
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Facebook/VIP Room

MANHATTAN — A thief was caught after he stuffed a stolen purse down his pants in a Meatpacking District club on Valentine's Day night, police said.

Jorge Torres, 24, lifted a woman's black purse from a table at the VIP Room, a club at 409 W. 13th St., about 2:50 a.m. Saturday and shoved it into his pants, staff told police. The purse contained $100 cash and a TD Bank debit card, police said.

Police officers who were called to the club patted down Torres and found the purse in his pants, as well as a small, clear plastic bag of what they believed to be cocaine in his back pocket, the NYPD said.

The purse was returned to the 21-year-old woman who owned it, police said, though officers were unable to recover the cash.

Torres was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a controlled substance. His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment, and the VIP Room could not be reached for comment.

Other notable crimes in the 6th Precinct include:

► A police officer was injured while trying to break up a scuffle in the Meatpacking District early Saturday morning, police said.

Police said they spotted Robert Romero, 43, fighting with another person on the southwest corner of Ninth Avenue and West 13th Street about 1:25 a.m.

When officers tried to intervene, Romero grabbed one and punched him in the face, police said. 

Romero then resisted arrest by flailing his arms and refusing to put his hands behind his back, police said. 

Officers were eventually able to cuff him, and he was charged with assault of a police officer. His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

► Police caught a 26-year-old man crawling under a turnstile at the West Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue subway stop about 7:40 p.m. Friday, police said.

Police said they stopped David Fasano, 26, and searched him, finding a gravity knife in his jacket pocket and a hypodermic needle in his jeans pocket.

Fasano was arrested and charged with two counts of weapons possession, as well as theft of service and trespassing for turnstile-jumping.

His lawyer, Ben Klein, noted the Manhattan District Attorney's criminal complaint does not mention a hypodermic needle, "so that's obviously blown up."

"Mr. Fasano denies the charges and will be fighting them vigorously," Klein said.

► A police officer was assaulted on the northbound A/C/E platform at West Fourth Street during morning rush hour on Monday, police said.

Police said Benjamin Argumendo, 46, punched a 31-year-old uniformed officer in the face about 8 a.m.

Argumendo also kicked the officer several times as the officer was trying to arrest him, police said.

Argumendo was charged with felony assault of a police officer.

Police did not provide additional information regarding events leading up to the altercation, and the District Attorney's office said Wednesday that Argumendo had not yet been arraigned.

Information about his lawyer was not immediately available.