1. Police said when a 93-year-old man recently answered his phone at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, located at 5901 Palisade Ave., the caller immediately beseeched his help.
“I’ve had an accident in Florida,” said a person on the other end of the phone, who claimed to be the victim’s son, on Feb. 3. “I need $2,300, otherwise I’ll be locked up.”
The man then told the 93-year-old to go to the nearest 7-Eleven store and load the money onto a Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid debit card. When the victim called the scammer back as instructed, he was told to scratch off the back of the card and recite the number.
Over the following two days, the man was scammed twice more, for $4,200 and $4,000, for a total of $10,500. The perpetrator is yet to be identified. Police said that scams like this one are “nearly impossible to trace” because perpetrators can call from anywhere using temporary numbers with apps like Google Voice.
“We talk to banks in the area and hold info sessions about the Green Dot scam, but there’s only so much they can do. The bank can’t really limit you taking out your own money,” said Community Affairs Officer Steve Cordero.
Authorites said that in addition to relatives, scammers will impersonate representatives of Con Edison and the IRS. A 43-year-old Kingsbridge man lost $3,990 to an IRS impersonator via the Green Dot MoneyPak scam on Nov. 28 last year.
2. Bad roommate?
Police said when a 51-year-old man left for work on the evening of Feb. 4, he locked his bedroom door and left the apartment at 2800 Sedgwick Ave.. At the time, his roommate was reportedly gathering his things to move out of the apartment.
When the victim returned to the apartment that evening, he found the lock on his door broken and several of his valuables missing: a 19-inch television set, a DVD player and $300 in cash.
The case remains open to detectives.
3. Violent threat
On his way home from work at 3 a.m. on Sunday, a 38-year-old told police he was accosted by a man who jumped out of a white, four-door sedan in front of the victim’s 3054 Godwin Terrace residence.
The victim sprinted to his apartment and managed to close and bolt the door before the perpetrator was able to catch him.
“I know where you live,” shouted the perpetrator, who was described as white and bearded. “The last person who didn’t give me money — I sliced his face off.”
The victim told police he did not recognize the man, who left without taking anything. The attempted robbery remains open to detectives.
4. Menacing with scissors
Police said on Sunday, noise coming from 3205 Oxford Ave. became unbearable for a 31-year-old man living next door. He approached his 26-year-old neighbor about lowering the volume.
The 26-year-old man reportedly became belligerent and brandished a pair of scissors.
“Come at me,” he called to the victim.
Police officers responding to the noise complaint arrested the 26-year-old for menacing, with scissors.
5. Mea culpa
At 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, an intoxicated 44-year-old man rammed his gray 2004 Dodge truck into a 2006 Acura parked behind him in front of 5622 Broadway. Realizing his mistake, he phoned police to confess.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found the man exuded “a strong odor of alcohol.” They accepted his confession, arrested him and locked him up until the next day. The man has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
Items in Police Beat are based on reports of crimes and arrests. Those arrested are not guilty unless a court convicts them. Police Beat does not include every crime in our coverage area.