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August 11, 2012 By Steven Greer
BatteryPark.TV has learned from sources that the PEP stopped two different iPad thefts taking place in the Rockefeller Park “Great Lawn”. The first case occurred two weeks ago after a woman left her iPad unattended on the lawn. She noticed a male doing a “snatch and grab” of the iPad and yelled for help. Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) were nearby and a chase ensued. The perpetrator ran across the West Side highway and ended up being cornered in the McDonald’s on Chambers and Greenwich Street. The thief seemed skilled and had ditched the iPad in bushes along the way and made a change of clothing. When the NYPD and witness arrived, they were unable to make a solid ID, so no arrest was made.
Of note, BatteryPark.TV personally witnessed a very similar iPad “snatch and grab” last year on Greenwich Street and chased the white male to Chambers and Church. In that incident as well, the man had hidden the stolen product and was blending in with the crowd. His identity was discovered after BP.TV worked with First Precinct detectives, and the man had a previous “rap sheet” of 12 arrests and was in the process of being prosecuted for a felony assault and hate crime involving a gay man in TriBeCa.
The second iPad theft in Battery Park occurred this week, again in Rockefeller Park’s Great Lawn. The perpetrator this time was a black male who ran into the Park Conservancy “hut” that houses the toys and ping-pong tables. NYPD arrived with guns drawn and made an arrest. The iPad was recovered.
Readers should be advised that all Apple products, phones and iPads, are hot commodities for thieves. One should never use them in public without looking around to inspect for possible thieves and muggers. The best thing to do if you are a victim of this type of theft is to yell out “Help, call 911. Stop that man”. Then, try to make a good mental note of the thief’s height, weight, and hair. They often change their clothing during the chase. There is also software that one can install on the phones and computers to help police track them.