Palisades Park Police Sgt. George Beck had only just become editor-in-chief of Blue Magazine when two cunning members of the NYPD used the Passaic County-based publication as bait to snare a serial package thief.
Carlos Maisonet, a 52-year-old repeat offender wanted on a parole violation, had broken into an Upper West Side apartment building on Columbus Avenue near 85th Street and taken packages three times overnight during a week-long period ending Feb. 6, authorities said.
“Each time, he manipulated the building's front door lock, entered the lobby, and went straight to the mail room where packages were left for residents,” Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin, the commanding officer of the 20th Precinct, wrote. “He stole multiple packages, including one that contained a laptop computer.
“The building has excellent security cameras, and the video showed that the perpetrator wore the same distinctive outfit every time,” Malin added.
Lt. Tony Lavino, who coordinates the 20th Precinct’s special operations, set a trap with the help of Officer Nicholas Ramsammy of the plainclothes Anti-Crime Team, he said.
After figuring out his pattern, they filled a “bait box” with copies of Blue Magazine that had been sent to the station house, Malin said.
On the cover was New York City PBA President Patrick Lynch.
Lavino and Ramsammy “have good senses of humor,” the deputy inspector explained.
The pair placed the box “conspicuously” in the building lobby before dawn Saturday, then waited, Malin said.
Along came Maisonet – wearing the same outfit, he said. He broke in and snatched the box, after which the officers grabbed him, the deputy inspector said.
Maisonet, who’s homeless, has been arrested more than 30 times – six of them for burglary, Malin said.
He was charged this time with four counts of burglary and ordered held on $30,000 bail.
“As you can imagine, [Maisonet] was not thrilled when he learned that the package he got caught [stealing] contained only policing periodicals,” the deputy inspector said.
“We doubt the publishers of The Blue Magazine had this in mind when they sent these magazines to our precinct,” Malin added, thanking Daniel Del Valle, the CEO of Haledon-based Envisage Productions, and his staff, including Beck, the Palisades Park police sergeant and new editor-in-chief.
“We’re pleased to be used as a crime-fighting tool – literally,” Beck said Tuesday.
“The detectives picked a great issue,” he added. “Patrick Lynch is one of the strongest PBA presidents in the country.
“We commend the great work the NYPD officer and detectives are doing to keep the city safe.”
ALSO SEE: He’s had a distinguished career as a police officer, author and adjunct professor, and now Palisades Park Police Sgt. George Beck is the new Editor-In-Chief of Blue Magazine.
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