Suspect swindled renters out of cash deposits in Woodhaven apartment scam

Photo via Flickr/Bart Everson;Inset courtesy of NYPD

Detectives are looking for the crook who duped four prospective tenants out of deposits for a Woodhaven apartment that wasn’t available for rent.

According to authorities, the suspect advertised an apartment for rent on 90th Street off 89th Avenue on Craigslist and met with the four victims between Jan. 22 and Jan. 31.

The location, police said, was the residence of a 55-year-old woman who left her apartment while the suspect and an unidentified individual were painting it at 5 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 21. When she returned home, she discovered that a flat-screen television and $800 in cash had been removed.

The next day, police said, the suspect met with the first victim, a 30-year-old male, at 4 p.m. at the 90th Street location. The victim provided the suspect with an undisclosed security deposit.

Approximately three hours later, authorities said, the suspect met with another victim, a 21-year-old man, and took his security deposit for the apartment.  He similarly swindled cash from two other victims, a 52-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman, on Jan. 23 and Jan. 31, respectively.

Police described the suspect as a 33-year-old Hispanic male standing 5 foot 8 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and a light complexion.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish speakers, dial 888-57-PISTA), visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


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