Burglary spree hits Main St, in DUMBO

for The Brooklyn Paper

A fashionable DUMBO office building is in the midst of a crime spree featuring a thief who knocks through sheetrock walls to steal goods.

There have been nine incidents in the building, 45 Main St., between Front and Water streets, said one tenant. The building is owned and operated by David Walentas, the neighborhood’s real-estate titan. Walentas’s own offices are in the building.

The crime spree was first mentioned on Curbed.com, a real-estate-centric Web site. Police reports analyzed by The Brooklyn Paper revealed key details:

On June 30, two offices were broken into on the 10th floor of the building. In one of the break-ins, a photographer lost nearly $17,000 in equipment. In the other incident, a law firm was hit, though it is unclear what was taken.

In one instance, a woman in the building confronted the burglar, but he escaped, cops said. Police have not released a description.

In all cases, the holes were made in areas where the thief would not be blocked by furniture, leading police to believe the perpetrator may scout his locations by posing as a harmless salesman.

Tenants in the building said such sales pitches are common.

“People walking into your office to sell things is part of the environment,” said Mike Kelly an employee at Hudson Union a design firm on the 10th floor, where the burglaries happened. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the thief uses that cover to see where to break through.”

Another worker in the building, Alex Zee, said the building was a security sieve.

Walentas acknowledged that there had been a spate of recent incidents, but told Curbed that “cops have been all over it and have made some arrests.”

It is unclear whether people have been arrested or merely questioned — but officers at the 84th Precinct said no one had been charged.

Debit dud

A scammer rang up $1,500 in purchases after a 52-year-old woman left her debit card at a store in early June.

The woman had gone to a popular electronics store on Montague Street to purchase a device to help her find a lost remote control — but later could have benefitted from a similar device to find her lost card.

She later called the store, where she believe she left the card, but the clerk said it was not there.

Whoever had it promptly went on the $1,500 shopping spree.

Chewed out

A man in the middle of a verbal dispute with another man on the Fourth of July clearly was willing to take even a bit more lip from his opponent — and promptly took a bite out of the other man’s mouth.

The incident went from aural to oral shortly after midnight near the corner of Bond and Livingston streets, though the cause of the initial dispute is unclear.

At one point, though, one 25-year-old man took a bite out of the other’s lip. The biter was arrested, while the bitee was taken to Long Island College Hospital.

Stolen smokes

Cigarettes aren’t only bad news for smokers, but they’re also bad for drugstore owners, too.

A popular Court Street chain was broken into and robbed of $400 in cigarettes and cigars on July 3.

The thief broke into the store, which is at Joralemon Street, at around 10:30 pm by smashing the glass on the front door, said police.

Several security cameras observed the act, but cops only got a vague description of the man.

Cops say that some thieves steal smokes to use as decoys for vendors who sell untaxed cigarettes.

Bad help

An elderly woman’s caretaker cleaned her out of nearly $10,000 on July 7, cops said.

The 73-year-old woman had hired the 53-year-old woman, at $125 a week, to help her with daily chores.

To get the money, the septuagenarian gave her helper her ATM card and account information to withdraw her wages.

But the younger woman began taking out larger amounts totalling $9,655, cops said.

The woman was arrested.

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