CHELSEA — A woman grabbed students' purses from a Chelsea pole dancing studio and then used a stolen debit card to buy classes there, the NYPD said.
Habigel Charles, 22, snatched purses from open cubbies at Body + Pole, at 115 W. 27th St., on Oct. 31 and Nov. 9 and then used a card from one of the bags to buy $155 worth of classes at the studio, police said.
Charles was arrested on Nov. 16 and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, both felonies, according the criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
"The thief was stupid and she got caught," said Lian Lebret, owner of Body + Pole. "We have a very trusting community and everyone leaves their things around. People should be careful and put their bags in lockers."
Charles was released and is due back in court on Feb. 23, 2015. Her attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Other recent crimes that occurred in the 13th Precinct include:
► A man hit a traffic agent with his car when the officer tried to stop him to let pedestrians cross a busy intersection, police said.
The officer was directing traffic at East 23rd Street and the FDR Drive, when 41-year-old Joshua Bright made an illegal right turn and nearly hit a pedestrian, according to police and the DA's criminal complaint.
The officer pushed the pedestrian to safety and motioned for Bright to stop his car, but Bright plowed ahead, striking the officer in the leg and driving away, police said.
The traffic agent had cuts and bruises on his knee, but followed Bright to a nearby building at 394 E. 25th St. and arrested him, police said.
Bright was charged with assault and leaving the scene of an accident, both felonies, according the criminal complaint. He was released, and is due back in court on Feb. 5, 2015.
His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
► A man accused of robbing his drug dealer told police the crime started out as a joke, according to court documents.
Joseph Molina, 18, initially went to his dealer's 25th Street apartment to pick up a check on Nov. 9, he told police. Molina then returned later in the day, at about 8 p.m., with his friend Christopher Falco, 21, not knowing that Flaco was planning to rob the dealer, according to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan DA's office.
"I told Chris that we could rob my dealer as a joke," Molina told police, according to the complaint. "I didn't think he'd do it. I told him that he keeps weed in the apartment. I told Chris I was going to get my check. He said, 'Let's rob the guy'...Chris had a gun. I got scared."
When the victim opened the door for Molina, Falco, who was wearing a mask, pushed his way into the apartment and hit the victim in the head with his gun several times, leaving him bleeding from his forehead, according to the complaint. Falco then stole a metal box from the bedroom and fled, the complaint says.
Falco was arrested on Nov. 11 and was charged with burglary, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies. Bail was set at $10,000 cash and bond. His attorney declined to comment.
Molina was collared Nov. 9 and charged with robbery and criminal possession of a weapon. His bail was set at $10,000 cash and $5,000 bond.
"My client denies any wrongdoing," said Lance Fletcher, Molina's attorney.
Both were still in Rikers Island as of Tuesday and they are due back in court on Feb. 17, 2015, court records show.