2007-07-27 / Front Page

Two Busted In Beach 116 Street Burglaries

By Howard Schwach

An alert tenant living above a store on Beach 116 Street called police about an after-hours burglary in the athletic apparel store below, leading to the arrest of two men who may have been involved in several burglaries in the area, police say.

Court documents supplied by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown identify the two men as Ahmed Jaber, 18, of upstate New York and Michael James, 20, of Curtis Street in Flushing.

Sources say that Patricia Lipscomb, who lives above Mocean at 163 Beach 116 Street, heard breaking glass at about 3:30 a.m. on July 20 and looked out a window to see what was happening.

She told police that she saw three young men run from the rear of the store towards Beach 117 Street.

She called 911 and police officers from the 100 Precinct found the metal security gate on the sneaker shop's door pried open and the glass on the front door shattered.

The police tracked two of the men to 180 Beach 117 Street, where they were arrested with several pairs of sneakers that were taken from the store.

In addition, James had more than $1,000 in his pockets, as well as the keys to the Rockaway Crown Chinese Restaurant, located at 115-09 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, which had been broken into earlier that night.

Court records show that at least 15 pairs of sneakers and $600 in cash were taken from Mocean.

Its owner told The Wave that only Nike brand sneakers were removed.

"It's obvious that they had a real preference for Nike," she said. "We had Timberland and other expensive merchandise in the store and they did not touch them."

She added that the robbery had left her with a bitter taste in her mouth about having a business on the crowded shopping street.

Court records show that sometime between 11:45 p.m. on July 19 and 11:30 a.m. on July 20, the burglars allegedly entered Rockaway Crown, removing the cash register containing about $500 and the extra keys to the store.

King Tan, the owner of the restaurant, told police that she came in on Friday morning and found a hole in the wall and the items missing.

Jaber was arraigned July 21 on the chares of burglary, criminal trespass and criminal possession of stolen property.

His bail was set at $2,500. His return date was set for August 3.

James was arraigned July 21 on charges of burglary and criminal possession of stolen property.

In addition to the charges brought against him for the burglaries, he was rearrested on another, unspecified charge in an earlier case.

He is being held on $20,000 bond and $10,000 bail for his next hearing on August 2.

Local police sources said that other businesses have been broken into in recent weeks, but declined to specify the names of those establishments.

Detectives from the 100 Precinct Squad are still searching for the third man involved in last week's burglaries.

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