CHELSEA — A cunning Slurpee bandit has been stealing cups of the frozen beverage from a 7-Eleven nearly every day for the past month and taunting employees as he waltzes out, police and store staff said.
An employee at the convenience store at 194 Seventh Ave., between West 21st and 22nd streets, first reported the string of Slurpee thefts to police around 3:45 p.m. Sunday, the NYPD said.
The culprit, described as being in his 30s or 40s, comes into the store “almost every day” for his icy fix, manager Havim Mahesi told DNAinfo New York.
“We tried to catch him, but whenever the store is busy, he sneaks inside the store and takes a cup and then leaves,” he said. “It’s like he’s watching us outside.”
Each time the man comes in, he fills a small cup with the self-serve beverage before strolling out without paying, Mahesi said.
“On his way out, he shows the cup and says goodbye,” he said. “He shows the cup like he’s laughing at us.”
At first, 7-Eleven employees gave the bandit the benefit of the doubt, Mahesi said.
“We thought … maybe he doesn’t understand, [maybe] he has a mental problem or something, but no, he’s totally normal. After we spoke with him, he 100 percent understands,” the manager explained.
“He’s doing it on purpose."
Police came to the store after the worker reported the incident, but they haven’t nabbed the bandit yet, Mahesi said.
Paying customers fork over around $2 for a Slurpee, he added.
"It's just a hassle," said another 7-Eleven employee, who declined to give his name. "But what are you gonna do, you know? It's a Slurpee."
Other notable crimes in Chelsea's 10th Precinct include:
► A 26-year-old man was arrested for putting a $10 six pack of Mike's Hard Lemonade and a $2 dragonfruit-flavored Vitamin Water in a basket covered with a shirt inside a Rite Aid at 282 Eighth Ave., between West 24th and West 25th streets, around 7:35 a.m. on Aug. 26, police said. When an employee confronted the man after he started drinking one of the beverages, the man didn't have enough money to pay for the items, police said.
► A 32-year-old man who crashed his Hyundai into a parked motorcycle in front of 453 W. 17th St., between Ninth and 10th avenues, was arrested around 2 a.m. on Aug. 26 after a police officer saw that he was unsteady on his feet, smelled like alcohol and had watery, bloodshot eyes, police said. The man was taken to the 28th Precinct, where they discovered that his blood-alcohol content was .16, police said.
► A 22-year-old man who was sleeping on a Dyer Avenue sidewalk, between West 41st and West 40th streets, around 6:06 a.m. on Aug. 26 started throwing punches at a police officer who tried to wake him up, the NYPD said. The officer arrested him and took him to the Port Authority police desk for processing.
► A man randomly punched a 19-year-old man in the face as he waited for a train on the northbound 1/2/3 platform at the 14th Street subway station at Seventh Avenue around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, police said. The victim refused medical attention, and police who searched the area couldn't find his attacker.
► A 65-year-old woman was walking on the High Line near West 14th Street around 1 p.m. on Aug. 27 when she realized she'd lost her $8,000 vintage diamond ring. She remembered taking off the ring around West 28th Street, police said.