Monday, August 4, 2014

Burglars Washed-up After Laundromat Heist

Burglars Washed-up After Laundromat Heist

Suspects Eyed in 33 Similar Break-ins

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 4- Three men have been charged with the break-in of a Norwood laundromat-- and cops say the trio are headed for the rinse-cycle as they are being eyed in 33 similar jobs from Manhattan to Westchester.

Residents say a small army of police on the ground and a helicopter overhead, converged on the Spin City Laundromat at 345 East 204 Street at just before 3 a.m. on July 31.

One police source reported, "We responded to a burglary here last night. It was apart of a pattern-crime (and) who were responsible for 33 similar break-ins from Yonkers to Manhattan."

The officer smiled before adding, "And we arrested them last night."

The thieves apparently targeted the store's Automated Teller Machine, which they cleaned out all of its $10 bills. The burglars also removed the surveillance camera tapes from inside Spin City as well as emptying a change dispenser.

The owner of Spin City, who purchased the popular business three months ago and who declined to be identified, recalled, "I came to open the store this morning and found police here waiting for me."

The owner said the perpetrators created a 2-foot hole in the back of the store, where he claimed the previous owner had cheaply boarded up a window.

A second police source stated that the trio arrested had been under surveillance when police pinged the suspects cell phone at the time of the heist.

Police charged Miguel Rodriguez, 34, of Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; Juan Perez-Portez, 41, of nearby University Avenue and Porfirio Sanchez-Javier, 27, no address given. All three were arraigned the following day and charged with burglary, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal mischief-- all stemming from the most recent incident.

According to the Bronx District Attorney's office Rodriguez' bail was set at $1,000 while Sanchez-Javier and Perez-Portez were released without bail and were due back in court on August 5.

Officially, the NYPD has refused to comment on any additional charges or pending cases against the three suspects.

Customers at Spin City were turned away for much of the day, while one angry customer argued with police about not being able to get his clothes.

"Your not getting your clothes, it's a crime-scene," one detective told the agitated customer who abruptly walked off.

A longtime worker at Spin City said as she watched police as they looked at evidence inside the store, "I don't want people to be scared to come here, I want the people to come back."

The two NYPD sources both think the trio are behind a string of similar heists that apparently date back to October, 2013.

In an April 25 break-in at the Inwood Deli, thieves cut a 2-foot hole in the wall of an abandoned building before getting away with the store's ATM cash, the store's computer hard drive with the security footage of the robbery-- and this time added baby formula to the growing laundry-list of charges.    

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