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Woman Loses $10K in Jewelry to Psychic Scammer on Upper East Side: NYPD

By Shaye Weaver | August 23, 2017 11:30am

UPPER EAST SIDE — A woman claiming to be a psychic stole nearly $10,000 in jewelry from an Upper East Sider as part of a scam to "cleanse" the valuables of evil spirits, police said.

The victim contacted the suspect July 28 and asked her to come to her East 83rd Street apartment. When the so-called psychic arrived around 1:40 p.m., she told the victim to give her jewelry so that she could cleanse the items of evil spirits, promising to return the goods a week later, police said.

The psychic never returned with the jewelry, which totaled $9,950 and included a $5,000 gold necklace, a $3,000 pair of white gold earrings, five bangles worth $200, a Gucci sterling silver watch worth $500, an $800 amethyst ring, one sterling silver crystal hoop earring worth $175, and various earrings totaling $275, according to the NYPD.

Police are still investigating the theft, they said.

The scam has claimed other victims, including a Columbia student who was swindled out of $2,500 earlier this year

Other notable incidents from the 19th Precinct blotter include:

Man Attacks Fruit Vendor and Police Officer

A homeless man attacked a vegetable vendor in broad daylight after stealing some of his fruit and then punched a police officer in the face before he was taken down by a Taser, police said.

Clifford Curtis, 41, walked up to the Rangoli Fruit Stand in front of 1392 Second Ave. at 72nd Street around 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 17 and took some blueberries and an orange from the vendor's cart, police said. When the vendor tried to stop him, Curtis punched the man's glasses off his face, breaking them.

When a police officer arrived at the scene, Curtis punched the officer in the mouth, sending him to the ground and causing bleeding and swelling that required stitches, the NYPD said. Police had to use a Taser to get Curtis in handcuffs, they said.

He was charged with two counts of assault, attempted assault, harassment, resisting arrest, petit larceny and criminal mischief, according to prosecutors.

He was released without bail, and his attorney declined to comment.

Man Targets Tip Jar at Pizza Joint, NYPD Says

A 29-year-old East Harlem man snatched $30 from a tip jar inside Roma Pizza at 1568 Third Ave. at East 88th St on Aug. 17, police said. The suspect walked in around 1:50 a.m., grabbed the cash and ran out, but employees caught him and held him there until police arrived and arrested him for petit larceny, the NYPD said.

Teens Try Snatching Expensive Sweatshirt, Police Say

A group of teens grabbed a $360 Bathing Ape Firearms sweatshirt from a 14-year-old Upper East Side boy on Aug. 14, police said. The victim and his 15-year-old friend were walking home at 2 a.m. in front of 510 East 86th St., when a group of teens approached them and stole the sweatshirt off the boy's shoulders, police said. Two of the teens, ages 16 and 17, were arrested and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to police.

Barneys Employee Steals Thousands in Merchandise, Police Say

A 16-year-old Barneys worker was arrested for stealing nearly $17,000 in merchandise from the 660 Madison Ave. store over a three-day span, police said. The teen, from The Bronx, concealed and walked out with 35 items totaling $16,683 between August 14 and 17, police said. She was arrested and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, according to the NYPD.

Stranger Rips Necklace From Woman's Neck

A 65-year-old woman was walking her dog on East 76th Street, between Third and Lexington avenues, when an unknown man walked up to her and ripped her gold chain off her neck, police said. The chain was worth $650 and a metal piece on it was worth $375, according to the NYPD. Police are still investigating.

► Mailbox Fishing Reported on 86th and York

An Upper East Side man put an envelope with a check inside a U.S. Postal Service mailbox on the southeast corner of York Avenue and 86th Street on July 29, but later discovered his check had been "fished" out by a thief, police said. The man's bank called the victim to let him know someone tried to cash a check for $5,990, but that there was insufficient money in his account to allow for it, police said. The man reported the attempted theft on Aug. 2.