Fordham Manor: Freezing weather leads to coat theft?



A 52nd Precinct police officer returns a stolen coat to Burlington Coat Factory, after officers arrested a shoplifter for stealing it, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.
Photo by David Greene

As temperatures dipped below zero on Friday, January 21, police responded to a call for a ‘knife-wielding shoplifter’, arrested the man for shoplifting a winter coat, and shortly thereafter was called back and made another arrest. in the same Burlington Coat Factory store at Fordham Manor.

The caller told the 911 operator that the suspect had cut the anti-theft devices off the clothing stores with a knife. Half a dozen patrol units from the 52nd District arrived on the scene, quickly apprehended the man and retrieved the winter coat, still on its hanger.

According to NYPD spokeswoman Detective Annette Shelton, police were first called to the Burlington Coat Factory, located on Webster Avenue near East Fordham Road, at 3 p.m. Shelton said of the incident: “A loss prevention officer observed Carlos Taveras, 34, remove a massage gun, socks and a coat and attempted to walk out of the store without paying for the items.

A massage gun is a small, hand-held device that looks and sounds like a drill, according to Wikipedia. Most massage guns have a variety of parts and speeds that can be used to relieve muscle pain. Shelton had no address available on Taveras, who was charged with petty larceny.

Police reported two separate shoplifting arrests at the Burlington Coat Factory located at 2543 Webster Avenue in Fordham Manor on Friday, January 21, 2022.
Photo by David Greene

Shelton also said Norwood News, “On the same day, 47-year-old Frank Agovino was arrested and charged with criminal mischief after he was observed by a loss prevention officer cutting sensors off store items valued at $150.” Shelton didn’t have an address for Agovino either. A witness reported seeing police grabbing a “bald white man” from the street and taking him into custody.

Meanwhile, officers from the police radio band were heard responding to another call on Saturday, January 22 at 3:15 p.m., also at the Burlington Coat Factory. Officers were looking for ‘a white male’ who had fled to East Fordham Road wearing blue jeans. Asked about the radio alert, Shelton said she had no complaints on file for the incident that matched the time, date and location provided.

Half a dozen police cruisers responded quickly to a report of a knife-wielding shoplifter at Burlington Coat Factory on Friday, January 21, 2022.
Photo by David Greene

An unidentified manager of the Burlington Coat Factory store in question was questioned by Norwood News on all three incidents. He said he didn’t go to work those days. When asked if shoplifting was a regular occurrence at the store, the manager replied, “I’m not sure I have the right to comment on that.”

Meanwhile, Heather, a media relations specialist at the Burlington store, pledged to investigate the recent incidents, saying Burlington would see “if there’s anything we could share, or if it’s This is an ongoing investigation”.

New York City Department of Homeless Services Code Blue Warning
Image courtesy of New York Department of Homeless Services

The New York City Department of Homeless Services regularly issues “Code Blue” advisories when temperatures drop below freezing and asks residents to call 311 if they see anyone at risk, especially those who live on the streets. During a #CodeBlue alert, shelter is available, system-wide, for anyone brought to a shelter by outreach teams. Accommodations are also available for walk-ins.

*Síle Moloney contributed to this story


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