A box filled with law enforcement magazines was used to lure a thief cops say kept palming packages from an Upper West Side apartment building.
Police were alerted that packages had been stolen multiple times from an apartment building mail room on Columbus Ave. near W. 85th St. since Jan. 30.
The crook forced the lock on the building at least three times, cops said. One of the packages he stole contained a laptop computer.
The robber was caught on surveillance video entering the building and walking out with packages. Each time, he wore the same distinct clothes, officials said.
After establishing the thief’s pattern, NYPD Lt. Tony Lavino and Officer Nicholas Ramsammy decided to stake out the lobby — and planted some bait.
They left a box filled with copies of Blue Magazine with Pat Lynch on the cover to temp the crook. Lynch is president of the NYPD’s largest union, the Police Benevolent Association.
Just before noon on Saturday, Carlos Maisonet, 52, entered the lobby and swiped the box, according to cops.
“As you can imagine, our perpetrator was not thrilled when he learned that the package he got caught committing a burglary to steal contained only policing periodicals,” Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin, the commanding officer of the 20th Precinct, said on Facebook .
Maisonet, who cops say is homeless, was charged with four counts of burglary.
“We doubt the publishers of Blue Magazine had this in mind when they sent these magazines to our precinct,” Malin said. “But (we) would like to thank them for the assist in taking this criminal off the street!”