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Purse Snatcher Who Stole 'Hamilton' Tix Caught Using iPhone App, Police Say

By Maya Rajamani | February 17, 2016 5:41pm
 Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway play
Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway play "Hamilton" won a Grammy for "Best Musical Theater Album" at the 2016 awards.
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Getty Images / Neilson Barnard

MIDTOWN — A thief who snatched a tourist’s purse containing $450 and two tickets to the Grammy-award-winning Broadway show “Hamilton” was collared by police using an iPhone app — but it wasn't immediately clear if the hard-to-get tickets were recovered, officials said.

The victim, a 60-year-old woman from Tennessee, was walking west on East 53rd Street with her husband around 7:45 p.m. on Feb. 13, when Daquan Livingston, 20, grabbed her purse and ran off with the coveted tickets inside, according to a complaint filed with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

The husband tried to chase down the thief but couldn’t catch him, so the couple reported the theft to police, who used the “Find My iPhone” app to track the device to the Apple Store at 767 Fifth Ave., the NYPD said.

When officers and the couple arrived at the Apple Store, the woman recognized Livingston, police said.

The thief tried to flee, but officers caught him and found the woman's iPhone, credit cards and ID in his jacket pocket when they searched him, the NYPD said.

Neither police nor the DA’s office said if the two tickets to Lin Manuel-Miranda's lauded play, which earned a Grammy for "Best Musical Album" on Tuesday night, were ever recovered — along with the woman’s $450 leather Tory Burch purse, which contained two Delta plane tickets, lipstick, $450 in cash and a ticket to the Tenement Museum, worth a total of $1,500.

Livingston was arrested and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, the DA’s office said.

After the arrest, police linked Livingston to another purse snatching that happened at the end of January, court records showed.

Two weeks earlier, on Jan. 30, Livingston snatched another woman’s purse from her arm containing her checkbook and other items at the northeast corner of East 53rd Street and Madison Avenue at about 4:40 p.m. before running into the subway, the DA’s office said.

After the theft, the victim discovered Livingston had written two of her checks to himself and cashed them, according to the DA’s office.

When Livingston was arrested for the February theft, a police officer found a check on Livingston with the forged signature of the woman who reported the Jan. 30 robbery made out to the thief, the DA’s office said.

Livingston admitted to the officer that he had taken the woman’s purse, claiming he deposited the checks into his boyfriend’s account, the DA’s office said.

He was charged with forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny for the Jan. 30 incident, according to the DA’s office.

He is currently being held on $10,000 bail and is expected to appear in court on Feb. 19, city Department of Correction records showed.

An attorney for Livingston did not immediately respond to request for comment on Wednesday.