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Stranger Cons Woman into Helping Him Steal Citi Bike on UES, NYPD Says

By Shaye Weaver | August 1, 2017 3:23pm
 The missing bike is worth more than $1,000, police said.
The missing bike is worth more than $1,000, police said.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

UPPER EAST SIDE — A woman got duped into helping a stranger steal a Citi Bike by swiping her bank card in exchange for cash — only for the thief to disappear with the ride, police said.

The suspect approached the 30-year-old woman on July 26 around 6:30 p.m. and asked her to pay his bike's rental fee in exchange for $13 cash, the NYPD said.

Not knowing how the bike-sharing service works, she swiped her debit card at the docking station in front of 401 E. 91st St., and the man rode off without returning the bike, police said. The service continued to charge her for every hour the bike wasn't returned, though authorities couldn't say how much she was charged.

Citi Bike — which charges a $1,200 fee to the last user for bikes that go missing longer than seven days — declined to comment.

► READ: Citi Bike Gets a Colorful Makeover in East New York

Other notable incidents in this week’s blotter from the 19th Precinct include:

MetroCard Scam Ends in Arrest

A 37-year-old man who altered 11 MetroCards to get unlimited access to the subway system was caught selling free rides at the 86th Street-Lexington Avenue subway station on July 23 around 11:30 p.m., police said. When police searched him, they found 10 more MetroCards and a knife in his pocket. He was charged with forgery, criminal possession of a weapon and unauthorized sale of fare cards, police said.

Undercover Cops Catch Bar Thieves

Plainclothes police officers caught three men running out of The Seamstress Bar at 335 E. 75th with a woman's backpack just before midnight on July 24, police said. One of the men, a 21-year-old from Brooklyn, broke down the front door of the establishment while trying to escape. Both he and a 19-year-old who worked with him were arrested, while the third man ran off, police said. The bag was a white Northface backpack with a number of American Express cards, a camera, a charger, $30 in cash, car keys and Ray Ban sunglasses inside, police said. Both men were charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, and the 21-year-old was also charged with criminal mischief for breaking the door, police said. The bar was not open Monday when a reporter called for comment. 

Bike Stolen Twice

A man from the Upper East Side and another from Brooklyn were arrested for stealing a bike by knocking down the street sign it was chained to around 2:21 a.m. on July 8 at the southwest corner of York and 78th Street, police said. They fled on the bike, but police caught them after a short chase. They were charged with criminal mischief and criminal possession of stolen property. Police said they later found out that the same bike had been reported stolen in Brooklyn in May but didn't know how the bike ended up on the Upper East Side. The custom-made ride was valued at $4,398 and belonged to a 33-year-old man from Brooklyn, police said.

Thief Tries to Steal Bike in Broad Daylight

An East Harlem man was arrested for attempting to steal a black Python bike that was chained to a street sign on Second Avenue between 86th and 87th streets, police said. On July 26 around 1:30 p.m., witnesses saw the 20-year-old man clipping the chain before police arrived and arrested him. He was charged with possession of burglar's tools, petit larceny and criminal mischief, as well as unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

Drive-by iPhone Snatching

An unknown man rode his bike up to a 24-year-old woman in front of 1772 Second Ave. at 93rd Street on July 21 around 11:10 p.m. and grabbed an iPhone 7 Plus out of her hand before speeding off, police said. The phone was worth $850 and the suspect has not been caught, police said.