CLINTON HILL — A hungry thief stole $500 in meats and cheeses from a Myrtle Avenue bar the day it reopened following a fire that forced it to shutter for nearly a month, police and the owner said.
The burglar broke into Putnam’s Pub and Cooker through a back gate around 1:40 a.m. on March 14, went into the kitchen and stole an assortment of meats and cheeses from a refrigerator, the NYPD and owner Gerry Rooney said.
“Some punk broke into the backyard, came into the kitchen area and stole a bunch of food basically,” Rooney said.
The restaurant owner said he didn’t want to report the incident, but felt obligated to in case the suspect, who police described as being in his mid-20s, returned.
“It’s sad to see people stealing food,” he added.
The Feb. 14 electrical fire at Putnam's started between the first-floor restaurant and the building’s second floor around 11 a.m., causing significant damage to the building. The FDNY determined the blaze fire was accidental, a department spokesperson said.
Rooney said the reopening day burglary could have been a “cruel coincidence” or someone trying to take advantage of the pub’s newly stocked fridges.
“Maybe he knew we were opening the following day and knew our fridges would be full again,” he said.
While repairs at the pub seemed to take an “eternity” to Rooney and his staff, the restaurant is back at it with its weekly bottomless boozy brunches and popular trivia nights, he said.
“The response from the neighborhood has been really great,” Rooney said. “It’s good to be back.”
Other notable crimes in the 88th Precinct:
► A 15-year-old boy was leaving school when a group of four male suspects approached him near Myrtle and Clermont avenues at 3 p.m. on March 10 and told him to empty his pockets, police said. The suspects asked him to give them his phone, but they ran off without stealing anything.
► A burglar stole $340 worth of deodorant and batteries from the World Wide Discount store at 341 Myrtle Ave. around 8 p.m. on March 16, police said. The store’s owner declined to comment on the burglary.
► A 22-year-old woman got into an argument with two strangers at the Applebee’s at 395 Flatbush Avenue Ext. around 12:05 a.m. on March 17, police said. One of the suspects threw a glass bottle at the victim, and the other punched her in the left shoulder. The woman was treated at Methodist Hospital. A manager at Applebee’s declined to comment on the attack.
► A 14-year-old boy was walking into the Clinton-Washington C station at 2:40 p.m. on March 17 when four male suspects approached him and asked him what he had in his pockets, police said. The victim showed them his wallet, which the suspects took and later gave back. When they asked him what else he had, the victim took out his cellphone and headphones, police said. The suspects spoke to each other about a gun but didn’t show one before stealing the teen's iPhone 7 Plus and Beats by Dre headphones.