Grifter’s Scheme Goes Flat – QNS.com

Grifter’s Scheme Goes Flat

College Pt. Con Man Gets Cuffed

A College Point man was busted last Monday, Apr. 8, for four incidents in a series of grand larceny flat tire scams across Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The suspect has been identified as Mario Gutierrez, 50, of 11th Avenue, police said.

He is charged with cases in Flushing on Aug. 9, 2012, Long Island City on Feb. 21, Gravesend on Feb. 22 and Richmond Hill on Mar. 23. and has been booked on charges of grand larceny in the third and fourth degrees, according to police records.

Descriptions of the four incidents are as follows:

– On Aug. 9, 2012, the suspect stopped a motorist who was leaving a Bank of America at Parsons and Northern boulevards in Flushing, telling the individual his car tire was flat. When the victim got out to check the tire, a second suspect removed property from his vehicle, police said.

– On Feb. 21, the suspect and two other individuals approached the victim on Review Avenue in Long Island City to inform her that she had a flat tire. The three offered to help, but the victim declined and drove to a tire repair shop. The suspects followed the victim to that location and again offered to help fix the tire while one of the suspects removed property from the victim’s vehicle, according to officials.

– On Feb. 22, a victim pulled her car over on East 2nd Street and Avenue T in Gravesend, Brooklyn, to check a noise coming from one of her tires. One of the suspects approached wearing an orange construction vest and holding a white bucket. The suspect stated that he had a can of tire sealant and offered to assist the victim, telling her to hold the can against her tire. The suspect walked away, and after he left, the victim realized that her handbag was missing from the car, police said.

– On Mar. 23, a victim was parking her car near 101st Avenue and 121st Street in Richmond Hill when she was approached by a man wearing a construction vest who told her the air in her rear tires was low and offered to help. While the first suspect distracted the victim, a second opened the victim’s vehicle and removed her purse, it has been reported.

The investigation is ongoing, and police are still searching for two other suspects in the 16 grand larcenies city-wide which fit the pattern described above.

Anyone with any information regarding the larcenies or the suspects’ whereabouts that could prove helpful is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-577-TIPS, by text message to 274637 (enter information, then the code “Tip577”), or online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

All calls and messages will be kept confidential.

More from Around New York