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Say what.. Walkie-talkie helps cops solve jewelry store heist

A walkie-talkie helped the October Cop of the Month from the 68th Precinct nab a pair of alleged burglars.

Police Officer John Wagner responded to a burglary in progress at a jewelry store on Fifth Avenue near 86th Street on Friday, September 26, according to 68th Precinct commanding officer Captain Raymond Festino, who stressed, “It’s very rare you catch a burglary in progress at a jewelry store or a bank.”

Arriving at the scene, Festino said, Wagner saw one man inside a store adjacent to the jewelry store, who had entered the premises “by cutting a hole in the roof.” Near him was a backpack containing a circular saw as well as the aforementioned walkie-talkie.

So, Festino recounted, Wagner “took the perp’s walkie-talkie and said into it, ‘Where are you?’

“Guess what,” Festino told members of the 68th Precinct Community Council, gathered at the station house for the group’s October meeting. “Somebody answered. So he said, ‘Hold on. Wait there.’” Wagner’s next move was to call for assistance, sending other cops to the other location, where they were able to apprehend the second alleged perp.

Both alleged perps – one 50 years old, the other 60 — had “an extensive criminal background,” Festino added. And, he said, “They were both on parole for burglaries and robberies.”

The burglary where they were apprehended wasn’t their only job that night, he went on. “They had hit Zales 30 minutes before,” Festino told the crowd, before presenting Wagner with his Cop of the Month award.

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