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$7,900 Ring Swiped by Worker at SoHo Jewelry Store on His First Day: NYPD

By Rebecca Fishbein | June 14, 2017 4:51pm
 The 1st Precinct in TriBeCa.
The 1st Precinct in TriBeCa.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

SOHO — An employee at a SoHo jewelry store swiped a $7,900 ring on his first day of work before telling an accomplice to pawn it, police said.

Michael Raftu, 24, was caught on surveillance video at the John Hardy SoHo Boutique taking a diamond 18K double coil ring from a store display, slipping it into his pocket and leaving at 10:02 a.m. on June 8, according to a criminal complaint with the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Raftu then handed the ring to Breanna Bronson, 23, before instructing her to pawn it, a separate criminal complaint from the DA's office said. Bronson did not feel that pawning the ring was "legitimate," since it was Raftu's first day of work at the store, and found it suspect that he had her meet him around the corner from the boutique before giving her the ring, the complaint said.

Both were  arrested and the ring was recovered, authorities said. Raftu was charged with grand larceny, and Bronson was charged with criminal possession of stolen property. Both were released on their own recognizance, according to the Manhattan DA's office. Their attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The store manager at the boutique declined to comment on the incident.

Other recent incidents in the 1st Precinct, according to police, include:

► A man used a fake credit card to rent a Subaru from a location at 20 Morris St. on May 7 and failed to return it, according to police. The business reported the $20,200 car stolen on June 7. There had been no arrests as of Tuesday, and the location's manager was unable to be reached for comment.

► A Citi Bike that was last seen docked at a station on Greene and Grand streets in August 2015 was reported stolen on June 6, according to police. There were no arrests as of Tuesday, and Citi Bike did not respond to request for comment. It was unclear why the $1,200 bike was reported stolen nearly two years later.

► A thief was arrested for snatching a $3,200 jacket off a rack at the Jeffrey Rudes store at 29 Greene St. on June 7 before trying to leave, police said. Peter Casillas, 22, of Wards Island, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection to the crime and was sentenced to time served, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office. His attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment. An employee at the store confirmed the theft but did not offer further comment.

► A 37-year-old Brooklyn man getting his hair cut at Styling Haircutters at 123 Fulton St. on June 6 told police a thief swiped his jacket, which contained his credit cards and $850 in cash. The suspect was described as a 40-year-old man, standing 6 feet tall with brown hair. There had been no arrests as of Tuesday. An employee at Styling Cutters confirmed the incident took place, noting, "We never had anything like that happen here, ever" prior to the theft.

► A deliveryman for GrubHub told police that a thief stole his bike, which was locked to a metal post in front of 40 Harrison St., on June 5. The victim was making a delivery at the location and returned to find his $1,450 bike missing. A witness told police she saw someone remove the bike and lock from the post. There were no arrests as of Tuesday, and GrubHub did not respond to a request for comment.

► A 33-year-old Manhattan woman told police someone snatched her purse off a hook while she was dining at PJ Clarke's at 250 Vesey St. on June 8. The thief made off with her Kindle reader, house key, identification, Ray-Ban prescription glasses, work phone and a MetroCard, in addition to credit cards, according to police. There were no arrests as of Tuesday, and a manager at PJ Clarke's told DNAinfo New York that though the eatery could not confirm whether the bag was stolen, "The bag was not here when the woman was looking for it."

► A woman from Italy who is temporarily residing in Manhattan told cops someone stole her bag as she exited the subway station at Fulton Street and Broadway on June 7. The victim said the suspect made off with $450 in cash, along with a number of credit and debit cards, and used her cards to purchase MetroCards and a camera, the NYPD said There were no arrests as of Tuesday.

► A man attempted to steal a laptop computer from a construction site at 70 Vesey St. on June 4, according to police. A construction worker at the site told officers he saw surveillance video showing the perpetrator entering the site using a screwdriver, later confronting him and telling him, "Get out." The suspect dropped the computer and fled to an unknown location, police said. There were no arrests as of Tuesday, and a spokesperson with the construction company had no comment.

► A 16-year-old student at the Manhattan Alternate Learning Center swiped a fellow student's phone on the northeast corner of Beaver Street and Broadway on June 9, according to police. The teen told the victim, "This is a stain," after snatching his iPhone, then fled on foot toward Broadway, police said. There were no arrests as of Tuesday. "The safety and security of our students is our top priority. The incident was immediately reported, and the NYPD is investigating," Department of Education spokesperson Robert Guttersohn told DNAinfo in a statement.