The Shalel Lounge at 65 West 70th Street was named by Yelp as the city’s number one romantic hot spot earlier this year because of the candles and fresh rose petals that accompany the Moroccan food. Thieves apparently enjoyed the romantic lighting too, as police say they swiped a man’s wallet there.

Police are looking for four men they say pulled off a string of thefts on the Upper East and Upper West Sides. They’ve already arrested two men in the case. The details are below, with Upper West Side crimes are highlighted in boldv.

Incident #1 (20 pct): It was reported to police that on Thursday March 30, 2017, at approximately 0030 hours, inside of 658 West 70 Street (Shalel Lounge), the 36 year-old male victim discovered that he was no longer in possession of his wallet; among the items inside his wallet was his debit card. Shortly thereafter, the victim received an unauthorized debit card activity notification on his cell phone from his bank. The usage location was listed as 2049 Broadway (McDonald’s Restaurant). When the victim arrived at the location he encountered the individual using his debit card. The individual fled the location in an unknown direction.

Incident # 2 (19 pct): It was reported to police that on Tuesday May 30, 2017, at approximately 2220 hours, inside of 1641 2 Avenue (Daisy Diner), 5 individuals entered the location and asked to use the bathroom. While inside the establishment, the individuals went through one of the employees’ jacket but did not remove any property. All 5 fled the location in an unknown direction.

Incident #3 (19 pct): It was reported to police that on Tuesday May 30, 2017, at approximately 2230 hours, inside of 1559 2 Avenue (San Matteo Pizza), 4 individuals entered the location and posed as customers. While inside, two of the individuals attempted to enter a secured closet where the store’s employees kept their personal belongings. Once the individuals left the location, the 32 year-old female victim discovered that her credit card and approximately $15 in cash were removed from her pocketbook.

Incident #4 (20 pct): It was reported to police that on Tuesday June 20, 2017, at approximately 1640 hours, inside of 2265 Broadway (City Brows), 4 individuals entered the location and asked to use the bathroom. One of the individuals distracted the 35 year-old female employee while another removed her purse from behind the counter. The individuals fled the location with the victim’s credit cards and approximately $400 in cash.

Incident #5 (19 pct): It was reported to police that on Sunday July 23, 2017, at approximately 1500 hours, inside of 1238 2 Avenue (Silver Star Diner), the 27 year-old female victim, an employee at the diner, discovered her wallet missing from her purse at the end of her shift. Among the items inside the wallet were her credit cards and approximately $425 in cash.

Incident #6 (19 pct): It was reported to police that on Sunday July 23, 2017, at approximately 1745 hours, inside of 833 Lexington Avenue (Le Botaniste), 4 individuals entered the location and asked to use the bathroom. Once the individuals left the location, two of the restaurant’s employees (a 21 and 24 year-old female) discovered their property was missing from the “Employees Only” room that was located across from the bathrooms. Among the items missing were their credit cards and approximately $70 in cash.

Incident #7 (19 pct): It was reported to police that on Tuesday July 25, 2017, at approximately 2345 hours, inside of 339 East 75 Street (The Seamstress), the 6 individuals entered the location and posed as customers before they removed the 18 year-old female victim’s backpack without her knowledge. 2 of the 6 individuals were arrested on scene by 19 Precinct Officers as they attempted to flee the restaurant. The victim’s property was recovered.

The first individual is described as a male, black; last seen wearing a black and orange baseball, an orange shirt, orange shorts and orange sneakers.

The second individual is described as a male, black; last seen wearing a blue baseball cap, a white shirt, light blue jeans and orange sneakers.

The third individual is described as a male black; last seen wearing a blue and white baseball cap, a white shirt and dark colored shorts.

The fourth individual is described as a male black, last seen wearing a black shirt with a “B” on its chest, blue jeans and black sneakers.

The following individuals were arrested:

Ross, Charles
19 year-old male
Brooklyn, NY
Grand Larceny
Criminal Possession of Stolen Property

Drummond, Jermaine
21 year-old male
Brooklyn, NY
Grand Larceny
Criminal Possession of Stolen Property
Criminal Mischief

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

NEWS | 38 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      kudos to NYPD for nabbing two of the four so far.

      • Ben Daivd says:

        Yes, agree! Now the problem is that in a city that decriminalizes something new every month, how long before they are right back at it again?

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          since Ben David seems to be an expert on this, i wonder if he could provide a list of offenses that have ACTUALLY been decriminalized in NYC?

          • robert says:

            Public Urination
            Open Container
            Turnstile Jumping
            Small Amounts of Weed

            All of these are now a ticket and no arrest Even when the same people do it over and over

            • Mark says:

              They should be ticket only offenses, instead of clogging the courts up and wasting manpower time and hours for what amounts to minor violations, the de-criminalization is exactly how it should be.

            • Ben David says:

              Thank you, Robert. Bruce does not like admitting that our city is going downhill because the NYPD’s hands are tied. But facts are facts.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              for years, you guys insisted that crime would be out of control because De Blasio did away with your beloved racial profiling-based stop and frisk.

              but then — nothing happened. crime stayed the same or went down. So you had to come up with something else to show that we were on the border of chaos.

              now, the argument is that people are not being arrested for carrying a small amount of weed, or for openly drinking from a beer bottle. horrors!!

              nope, sorry, the city is not “going downhill” because thousands of people are jumping turnstyles, or we’re all urinating in the streets.

              if it is “going downhill”, it is because “the rent is too damn high.”

        • lynn says:

          ITA. I had my purse stolen twice and each time the police said there was no point in pressing charges because the ‘kids’ would be right back out on the street.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            they caught the guys and the police told you not to press charges?

            you should have asked to speak to a supervisor.

            theft has not been decriminalized in NYC.

          • Phoebe says:

            Did the police really say that (and also, so the fellow cop could hear it?)
            Earlier, I was going to say that it was too bad the McDonald’s thief hadn’t been surprised by both the victim AND the police, showing up at the same time–a quick call to the cops raising the odds of the perp. being caught. That would have been really kewl. Sigh.

    2. Ed says:

      Poverty drove them to it….wait a minute, they are dressed better than my own children.

    3. Tabitha Rice says:

      Hey WSR, why do you always report on African Americans committing crimes in our neighborhood? African Americans make up less than 15% of the population but reading your stories you would think its 100%. How about reporting on the white criminals as well?

      • West Sider says:

        These stories are based on releases from NYPD about specific suspects they are looking for. But it’s fair to say that our crime coverage should be better and more comprehensive. Thanks for the feedback.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Tabitha Rice — the overwhelming majority of violent crimes committed on the Upper West Side (if not all of Manhattan), are done by African-Americans. Facts are facts.

      • Effy says:

        2009 Bureau of Justice Statistics numbers show that in 2009, “blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15 percent of the population in these counties.

      • Frank says:

        Unfortunatly African Americans commit a disproportionately large percentage of the crimes in this neighborhood. So you’re very likely to see many more stories involving African American suspects. It’s simple math.

        Saying that, this neighborhood is very safe and the vast majority of citizens of all races are law abiding. Regardless of race, crime affects us all. Asking the media to censor itself would be inauthentic of the reality, regardless of which racial attributes the suspect(s) have.

        If they title the article ‘MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT’ AMONG THE LOCAL SPOTS HIT BY BLACK SERIAL THIEVES, POLICE SAY’ then I’d agree that’s improper as the race has nothing to do with the crime.

        They posted a story about a white suspect, so I guess when it occurs they cover it (as they should!):


      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        the first issue i have is that when Black suspects are in photos, in many or perhaps most cases there are vile and racially tinged comments posted. when white suspects are in photos — not so much.

        the second issue is that in general pictures are not posted for people arrested for crimes that would be more heavily committed by whites on the UWS. spousal abuse, for example. or various types of fraud. embezzlement. mortgage fraud, and so on.

        • Sean says:

          The UWS is one big episode of Law & Order.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          The crimes that affect us most as a civilized society are those with violence. Assault, rape, etc. The people who commit these acts deserved to be shamed and punished severely. It just so happens that “round these parts”, the perpetrators of violence are overwhelmingly of one group: African-Americans. I am not concerned with “mortgage fraud” when I am walking down the street or in Central Park.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            none of the crimes listed above involved violence. they involved theft, much like embezzlement or mortgage fraud, only in much smaller amounts.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              yes, you’re right. they are thugs however. criminals seeking out manhattan as their playground to steal.

          • Willy Sutton says:

            Sure violent crimes harm society. That’s why they’re crimes. But white-collar crimes break down trust and corrode social cohesion. The invisibility of mortgage fraud does not minimize the calamity caused to victims by the millions.

          • stevieboy says:

            are you implying that Black people DON’T commit mortgage fraud?!?! soooo offensive /s

        • ts says:

          People are sick of liberals like you making excuses for deviant behavior by anyone…including black criminals. By the way, I find your constant rationalizing their bad behavior disgusting.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            ts – join the club!

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            if you’re referring to me, i’ve never “rationalized” any crime.

            What i’ve objected to are the racist comments that inevitably appear when the WSR posts photos of black suspects, but not white suspects.

      • Mark Moore says:

        Stranger-on-stranger crime is more interesting to people. But when a white guy stabs his mother to death, it gets reported.

      • Julia says:

        Probably because blacks commit a truly disproportionate amount of crime in NYC.

    4. UWS Craig says:

      What do these men have in common?
      Orange sneakers. Race has nothing to do with it.

    5. Sean says:

      If their sneakers are all the same color maybe they are in a gang?

    6. Sean says:

      My money is on all those criminals on the commuter lines.