GRAMERCY — A modern-day Fagin with a taste for Häagen-Dazs has been working with a crew of younger men to steal thousands of dollars worth of ice cream from at least six CVS and Duane Reade pharmacies in Manhattan within two months, according to police.
Philip Jaudoa, 28, of Kips Bay, and a team of six accomplices, including 4 minors, are accused of a monthslong spree of Häagen-Dazs heists in which they would distract employees as others loaded the frozen goods into backpacks, officials said.
It's unclear which of the accomplices were involved with each incident, but Jaudoa was present in all of them, according to police.
The first theft tied to the crew occurred roughly 7 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2015, when Jaudoa and several others snatched a load of Häagen-Dazs and Red Bull from a CVS at 300 Park Ave. S. on the corner of East 22nd Street, according to a police report.
The bandits popped up again on Dec. 18, at a Duane Reade at 777 Sixth Ave. between West 26th and West 27th streets, officials said. One member of the group distracted employees while the other two scooped up $1,470 worth of ice cream and fled, police said.
On Dec. 20, at about 7:35 p.m., they apparently shifted goals, this time swiping $109.80 worth of energy drinks — about 20 bottles of Five Hour Energy — from a CVS at 750 Sixth Ave. between West 24th and West 25th streets, according to officials.
Jaudoa and his crew headed below 14th Street for their next heist on Jan. 3, hitting a CVS at 20 University Place, police said. Following the same model of distracting an employee while accomplices loaded up, the thieves grabbed $1,683 worth of ice cream and fled, according to authorities.
The haul included 54 containers of Häagen-Dazs, 90 containers of Ben and Jerry's and 22 containers of Talenti ice cream, according to a criminal complaint.
On Jan. 14, they headed to the CVS at 215 Park Ave. S. at about 8:35 p.m., where they swiped $106 worth of ice cream, including 25 Ben and Jerry's containers, six Häagen-Dazs and eight Talenti, according to a criminal complaint.
About an hour and a half later, at 10 p.m., Jaudoa's group stole 17 Häagen-Dazs containers worth $248 from the CVS at 300 Park Ave.; the same pharmacy they looted in their first known theft on Nov. 16.
Police caught up with Jaudoa and his accomplices on Feb. 2, hauling him in with six others.
It is unclear what led police to the suspects.
Prosecutors charged Jaudoa with a litany of petty larceny and grand larceny charges, and a judge released him without bail pending his next court date on March 16, according to court records.
His lawyer did not return a request for comment. Information on the cases of his accomplices was not immediately available.
Stores across Manhattan have been hit in similar ice cream thefts repeatedly, police said.