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Chelsea Burglar Stole Credit Cards to Feed Gambling Addiction, NYPD Says

By Noah Hurowitz | February 8, 2017 3:15pm

CHELSEA — A Hell’s Kitchen man stole credit cards to fund a gambling addiction — carrying out least three separate heists before being arrested last week, according to police and prosecutors.

Matthew Cherette, 32, was caught trespassing inside 111 W. 16th St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues on Jan. 30 by police who connected him to at least two earlier thefts in which he swiped envelopes full of cash and credit cards to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards, according to police.

Cherette, a former writer and editor who once wrote for a number of publications including BuzzFeed and Gawker, was carrying two bags of meth at the time of his arrest, police said.

After his arrest, Cherette told investigators that he was using the stolen credit cards to fund a gambling addiction, according to a criminal complaint.

His robbery spree also included an incident on Jan. 24, when Cherette was caught on surveillance cameras entering a building and swiping an envelope containing a replacement credit card intended for a man who lived there, police said.

Cherette was also caught on camera using the credit card — and multiple others — to buy $5,900 in gift cards at a CVS at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street, according to a criminal complaint.

Police said Cherette stole another credit card before it reached its intended recipient and used it to buy $111 in gift cards at a CVS on Jan 6, according to court records and his criminal complaint. Police could not immediately say where he had stolen that credit card.

A judge had issued at least one warrant for Cherette's arrest in connection to a Feb, 14, 2014 Queens crash in which he plowed a Mercedes-Benz into another car and a tour bus, injuring the driver of the other car, according to court records.

He was released without bail after that crash, and a warrant had to be issued last summer after he skipped a hearing, court records show.

He’s due back in Queens criminal court on Friday in connection to that incident.

Cherette was arraigned on two counts of burglary and one count of grand larceny, and was ordered held on $7,500 bail at Manhattan Detention Complex, court records show. He was set to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on March 16 to face the burglary charges, records show.

A lawyer for Cherette did not immediately respond to a request for comment.