Police are pulling out all the stops in their search for a burglar who surprised and then tied up a young woman inside her apartment before she could call out for help, officials said.
As of this writing, cops had released a sketch of the thief, who sported an Atlanta Braves baseball cap and had the lower part of his face covered with a white scarf, and were investigating “all possible leads” into the June 23 break-in, explained Deputy Inspector Ralph Monteforte, the commanding officer of the 70th Precinct.
During a Thursday evening debriefing with over a dozen residents of the usually quiet Prospect Park South, Berkeley Square West and Ditmas Park communities between Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Avenue and the Parade Grounds south to Newkirk Avenue, Monteforte said that the thief, described as a black male between 18 and 25 years old, crept into the apartment on Westminster Road between Beverley Road and Caton Avenue at about 11 a.m. that Tuesday.
“From what we can tell, it looks like he was checking windows,” Monteforte explained. “He found one that was not locked, goes inside and finds a young woman sleeping. Now at this time, most burglars just leave. But this guy, he ties her up.”
Monteforte said that the woman wasn’t physically harmed.
After tying the woman up, the thief grabbed a few items from the apartment and ran off. His victim managed to free herself a short time later and called police.
Cops would not say if the burglar is connected to other thefts in the area, but were working on “several leads.”
Monteforte doesn’t believe that the thief entered the home with the intention of hurting the young woman.
Still cops are now investigating what is called a “home invasion” – one of two that have happened in the 70th Precinct this year. The first home invasion took place in another part of the precinct, which also covers Flatbush as well as Midwood.
Residents attending the briefing were assured that crime in their part of the command was relatively low.
“You have one of the most quiet areas for burglaries,” he said. “[This thief] is not out there hitting the entire neighborhood.”
Crime concerns in the area are mostly clustered around the Church Avenue train station, where a number of phone snatches and robberies have taken place.
Many of these cases are considered youth-on-youth robberies, he said. In others, thieves on bicycles roll by, grab a person’s property and speed off, he said.
“We want you to know everything that’s going on in the area, whether crime is going up or down,” Monteforte said. “It’s my job to let the community know if there is something going on.”
“If there is someone going around tying people up, we’re not going to hide it from anyone,” he said.
Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward.
Calls can be made to Detective Zapata of the 70th Precinct at (718) 851-5553. All calls will be kept confidential.