A masked bandit outwitted police officers in Ditmas Park on Tuesday — and it is still running wild!
A wily raccoon led New York’s Finest on a three-hour chase across Flatbush Avenue, before ultimately finding sanctuary in a tree and leaving a squad of frustrated patrolman and delighted onlookers in its wake.
Civilians say it was an entertaining show, though they were less than impressed that the city’s elite crime fighters couldn’t catch such a small and comparatively stupid mark.
“I was surprised,” said Sami Khabieh, who works at the Flatbush Avenue furniture store where the raccoon’s escapades began. “He was walking very slowly, and there were two guys and they couldn’t grab him.”
Khabieh called the police at around 10:30 am after he found the raccoon — a frequent and unwelcome visitor to the store — lounging in the roll-down gate that guards the storefront between Cortelyou and Dorchester roads, but officers with the department’s emergency services unit didn’t show up until noon, the worker said.
In that time, the crafty critter had hardly moved a muscle, but when the cops started poking around with their animal control poles, the scofflaw leapt from his hiding spot and darted past the officers into the shelter of a nearby parked car.
He stayed there for the next two hours, despite an endless series of pokes and prods from the patrolmen, who eventually began removing tires off the vehicle and jacking it up in an effort to clear a path to the sneaky scavenger.
Meanwhile, a crowd formed, and onlookers could be seen laughing and cheering, smartphones in hand as they sought to capture the raccoon’s amusing antics.
Just as officers were narrowing in on the beast, it suddenly leapt out from under the vehicle and clamored up a nearby tree, weaving past the cops’ pole-borne lassoes as it scrambled to freedom in the branches above, where, according to Khabieh, the furry folk hero remained on Wednesday, to the delight of onlookers.
But not Khabieh — he says he now has a vendetta against the varmint, and the next time he catches it trespassing in the store, he won’t be calling the cops.
“He’s lucky he’s in the tree, because I’m going to get his a--,” said Khabieh. “Put him in the box — then call the police.”