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Master of disguises cashes $30,000 at phantom auto shop

for The Brooklyn Paper
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A man created a new identity for himself before swindling his victim out of almost $30,000.

The 44-year-old victim noticed the cash missing when he checked his bank statement at 6 pm on April 7, and immediately called the cops.

Police say the man first went into the Fifth Avenue and 75th Street bank and asked for a cashier’s check in the amount of $29,620.

When the teller asked for identification, the perp pulled out a fake driver’s license with his picture, but the victim’s identity.

The check was issued and then immediately cashed at an “auto store,” according to the victim’s bank statement. But when cops tried to track the phone number, they discovered it was a phony.

Chevy trick

A thief who pretended that he was falling off the steps of a bus swiped the wallet of a Good Samaritan as she tried to help him regain his balance on April 25.

Cops say the pratfalling perp bumped into the 22-year-old victim at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 86th Street at around 4:20 pm.

He made off with two debit cards, a Victoria’s Secret credit card, and a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card.

Map missing

A navigation system, along with some other expensive accessories, was stolen from a van on April 3.

The 26-year-old victim was awakened by his car alarm at 5:20 am, so he looked out the window to see a perp jumping out of his 1994 Chevy Astrovan and into a green Celica that quickly sped off from the crime scene, which was on Second Avenue near 95th Street.

The perp made off with $3,569 worth of goods, including a navigation system.

Perp no pay pal

An unknown perp made $4,000 in online purchases after stealing a 27-year-old woman’s identity on April 14.

The woman discovered the fraud when one of her credit card companies notified her of suspicious activity on her account.

Police say the largest purchases were set up through a Paypal account and that the stolen goods were delivered to an apartment on Third Avenue and Third Street — nowhere near the woman’s home on Colonial Road and 79th Street.

Afternoon stroll

A woman’s leisurely walk along 18th Avenue was ruined when a thug snatched her purse on April 29.

The victim was near 62nd Street at around 3 pm, when someone came from behind her and swiped the handbag.

The pocketbook contained more than $1,500, plus credit and debit cards, police said.

Unchained bike

A middle-aged man had his bike stolen after leaving it unchained outside a 19th Avenue home on April 29.

The 46-year-old man left the home, which is near 79th Street, at around 3 pm. He returned to notice that someone had taken his bike — and the wallet and cellphone that he had laid on top of it.

Thief caught

A woman attempting to rob a Bay Parkway department store on April 27 was later caught by the entrance doors with a carriage full of goods.

Store guards caught the woman at around 6 pm after she had somehow gotten past the checkout area with the items.

The $1,122 in goods were returned to the store, which is near Cropsey Avenue.

Finger stick-up

An 18th Avenue pharmacy was robbed at fingerpoint on April 27, when a thug simulated a handgun with a plastic bag.

It all went down around 5 am within the pharmacy, which is near 65th Street. The perp came into the drug store demanding money, and when the cashier refused, he pulled out the ever-dangerous plastic-bag-covered finger. Apparently, the digit was enough to scare customers and employees, who handed over $1,200 in cash and coins, police said.

The thief hoped into a blue minivan and sped down 64th street, cops said.

Evening mug

A trio of thugs attacked and mugged a man as he walked home from an 18th Avenue video chain on April 26 — but they didn’t batter him so much that he couldn’t later help cops nab two of them.

The 20-year-old victim was on 78th Street, near 20th Avenue, at around 6:30 pm when two guys and one girl approached him. The threesome proceeded to choke and punch him, knocking him to the ground. Next, the thugs snatched his bag, which contained $130, including his credit and debit cards, police said.

Police later caught the girl and one of the thugs, and the victim positively identified them.

Trunk travesty

A man who had parked his truck on Cropsey Avenue returned hours later to discover thieves had stolen the tailgate door off the back of the vehicle.

The 55-year-old man discovered the unusual robbery at around noon on April 23. The truck had been parked near Bay 16th Street. After calling the manufacturer, the victim told police that the rear lift gate was worth $2,500.

Fur follies

Five fancy fur coats — valued at $12,500 — are missing from an 86th Street fur store.

The owner first discovered the filched furs on April 17 during a routine inventory at the store, which is near 17th Avenue. The owner told police that he suspects his employee was involved in the heist because they were alone in the store the previous day.

No charges have been filed against the employee — yet.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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