The smasher just got collared — but the car thefts and break-ins have proliferated in his absence!
Cops arrested Darren “Squarehead” Stone last week for an April car break-in in DUMBO — sending the career criminal back to Rikers Island, where he has lived, on and off, for most of the year.
Last week’s arrest is Stone’s seventh of the year — and that long rap sheet means he’s now facing up to seven years in prison, said Jonah Bruno, a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.
The most-recent arrest for breaking into an SUV on Water Street in April might never have happened if Stone had not cut his hand on the broken glass and left drops of blood in the car, said cops, who linked Stone to prior crimes because of the DNA.
Stone’s court-appointed attorney, Kleon Andreadis, said he will investigate whether the alleged blood stain was actually from his client.
“If it is his blood, then the case turns one way, and if it is not his blood, the case clearly turns another way,” Andreadis said. “And I won’t have those results for quite some time.”
Even with Stone off the street last week, at least three cars were reported stolen in the area and six others were broken into.
And a DUMBO “Citizens Patrol” — which was created in part to warn residents and police about Stone’s alleged reign of terror — received several tips that six car windows along Water Street were smashed over the weekend.
Police from the 84th Precinct have beefed up security in the area in response to the crimes, but the Patrol’s anonymous ringleader said he’s even more concerned now.
“This is exactly what I was fearing would happen,” said the resident, who goes by the handle “Dumbo Patrol.” “It seems like the whole area has gotten the perception of this lawless kind of area, and that’s disconcerting to me.”
Before Stone’s arrest, the vigilante spent the night on Water Street with his camera, waiting for Stone to strike. But just as Stone rounded the corner, an accomplice spotted the camera, made a “hoot” call, and Stone run away, the layman patrolman said.
It is those accomplices that now have the neighborhood on edge. Neighbors have spotted two teenagers walking in tandem down Water Street on opposite sides of the street, peeking into car windows for potential loot. The Citizens Patrol blog receives several unsolicited tips and reports each week, said “Dumbo Patrol.”
Among last weeks 6 break-ins that could not have been committed by Stone was the jacking of a DUMBO man’s minivan overnight from a spot on Front Street near Jay Street.
The man, who lives around the corner on Jay Street, parked his van at around 11:30 pm on Aug. 22, left it there over the weekend, and when he returned on Aug. 25, it was gone.