UPPER EAST SIDE — A pair of teen boys busted just days earlier for asking for donations for a fake basketball team stole a taxi driver's wallet during a cab ride with one of the boy's mothers before she tried to buying merchandise with a stolen credit card, police said.
East Harlem resident Tekeitha Brown, 42, her 14-year-old son and his 13-year-old friend took the cab to Best Buy at 1280 Lexington Ave. at 86th Street on July 18, the NYPD said.
The cabbie called police after the 13-year-old swiped the wallet from the taxi's center console just after 1 p.m. and officers found the trio inside the store, where the Brown had tried to buy items using an unidentified 33-year-old woman's credit card, police said.
All three were arrested around 2:18 p.m. and charged by police with grand larceny, though authorities did not have information about the items she tried to buy or their value.
The two boys, along with another 13-year-old, were arrested on July 14 around 11 p.m. for walking up and down Second Avenue asking people to donate to a faux basketball team called the "Harlem Rockets," according to police.
They were charged with fraudulent accosting for that incident and are being charged as juveniles, police said. It was unclear what charges they were facing for the wallet theft.
At Brown's arraignment, the grand larceny charge was dropped and she was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and released without bail. She's due back in court on Aug. 4.
Her attorney did not immediately return a request for comment Monday.
Other notable incidents in this week’s blotter from the 19th Precinct include:
► Starbucks Tip Jar Thief Strikes Again
A man walked up to the tip jar next to the register at the Starbucks at 1261 Lexington Ave. at 85th Street on July 15 around 6:50 a.m. and snatched the $30 inside it before running off, police said. The man, who was described as a roughly 28 and standing about 5-foot-8, has stolen from the tip jar before, employees told police.
"He comes in randomly — mostly weekends and early mornings," said the store's manager, who declined to provide his name. "When women are working is when he tries to take advantage and steals the tips. When he looks at me, he walks out."
The manager said the suspect often causes a scene and asks what the employees can do for him.
► Unattended Backpack Stolen at Starbucks
Another Starbucks theft took place at the 245 E. 80th St. location on July 19 around 7 p.m., police said. A 26-year-old woman left her $45 Burton backpack — which contained a $35 Fossil wallet with credit cards, $20 cash, an ID, a $121 MetroCard and an $800 tablet — on a seat while she went to place an order, police said. When she returned, it was gone.
► Two Vans Stolen
Two vans were stolen at separate locations on July 20, police said. An employee of Devo Fire Protection parked his 2003 Ford Econoline outside 825 Fifth Ave., near 64th Street, around 11 a.m., and when he returned at 3 p.m., it was missing. He still had the keys to the van, which was valued at $28,000, police said.
The second van went missing between 12:30 and 5 p.m. on the same day, after a man parked his Ford E350 at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and 68th Street. When he returned with keys in hand, the van was gone, police said.
► Wrong-Way Drunk Driver on FDR
A 29-year-old man from Brooklyn was seen driving the wrong way on the FDR Drive service road at East 92nd Street on July 15 around 3:30 a.m., police said. Officers pulled over the 2003 Chevy Trailblazer, which had Florida plates, and arrested the driver. He was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation for not having a license and driving while intoxicated. He refused a Breathalyzer test, police said.
► Bloomingdale's Catches Another Thief
A 21-year-old from The Bronx was arrested after trying to use counterfeit credit cards to buy a $96 PRPS shirt at the 1000 Third Ave. store, police said. She was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.