Thief uses screwdriver to break into Jackson Heights building and ransack mailboxes: NYPD

1019-22 115 SQD 04-17-22 Photo
Police are looking for this suspect, who allegedly broke into the Sheila Terrace apartments in Jackson Heights early Sunday and removed mail and packages from the lobby mailboxes. (Photo via NYPD)

Police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights are searching for a man who broke into a 73rd Street residential building ransacked the mailboxes on Sunday morning.

Authorities say the suspect allegedly used a screwdriver to force open the lobby door of the Sheila Terrace apartment building located at 37-30 73rd St., just north of the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue transit hub, around 2 a.m. on April 17.

Once inside, he used a key to open the mailboxes and proceeded to remove mail and packages from the room, including one package that contained a QVC bracelet valued at $50, police said.

The NYPD released surveillance video of the suspect as he opened the lobby door and then used a key to open the mailbox grid. He was seen wearing a black facemask and a striped blue and white long-sleeved shirt, jeans and dark sneakers with a gray bag slung over his shoulder and carrying a blue tote bag.

An NYPD spokesman could not say specifically whether the key the alleged burglar used was a U.S. postal key, which was used in a similar mailbox theft incident at a residential building on Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood last week.

However, members of a Jackson Heights Facebook group said the suspect must have used one of those keys, adding that detectives from the 115th Precinct arrived immediately at the Sheila Terrace building having responded to another mailbox theft incident an hour earlier at the Berkley Co-Op building on 77th Street in Jackson Heights.

Other members of the Facebook group described similar break-ins recently in Elmhurst, East Flushing, and Whitestone in recent weeks.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.