Tribeca Cat Burglar: Gone for Good?

Jul. 07, 2013

A cat burglar suspected of breaking into several Tribeca penthouses in the spring has apparently turned tail—at least for the time being.

Police say that a thief, believed to be behind at least five burglaries in the neighborhood, has yet to be caught. But there has been no sign of him lately.

"Knock on wood, we haven't taken one [report] since the last Community Council meeting," Capt. Brendan Timoney, the First Precinct's commanding officer, reported at the June 27 monthly meeting of the First Precinct Community Council. "It's a major concern of myself and the New York City Police Department."

The burglar, who police describe from "grainy" video imagery as a slim, light-skinned Hispanic or black male, is believed to have stolen mostly electronics and jewelry from five Tribeca apartments in recent months, which he allegedly entered through unlocked terrace doors and windows. Police are still trying to figure out how he accessed the terraces.

According to the NYPD, those documented thefts occurred on April 19 at 72 Reade St., on May 2 at 110 Duane St., on May 3 at 88 Leonard St., on May 10 at 54 Warren St. and on May 24 at 77 Reade St.

As a result of the thefts, Timoney said that additional officers, including undercover cops, have been assigned to the area in search of possible access points on buildings on Church and Chambers streets. They have also been conducting "verticals," walking up and down stairs and asking residents if they have seen anyone suspicious.

"We're hoping he got scared off," Timoney said. "We haven’t forgotten about him."

Timoney said only one of the burglaries occurred when people were at home. It was in a three-floor penthouse, where a nanny and children were on the first and second floors and the burglar operated on the third.  "He was in and out within two minutes," Timoney said. "They never heard anything or saw anything."

"Let your residents know," he told the precinct council members, "lock their terrace doors even if they're going out for five minutes to get a gallon of milk."