A reputedly crafty, if brazen, homeless woman targeted Kingsbridge Tuesday morning, allegedly slipping in through the window of a neighborhood Santa — and a stalwart of the local Democratic establishment — to get to his holiday gift-giving stash.
The woman — identified by police as Tamika West, 44 — allegedly broke in to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz’s Kingsbridge Avenue district office just before it opened, but smack in the middle of when some neighborhood students and office workers probably start their day.
There, she reportedly wrangled toys staffers had purchased to donate to kids whose struggling families couldn’t afford presents, Dinowitz said, and may have made off with other items as well.
But police made quick work of collaring the woman, Dinowitz said, thanks to an eagle-eyed crossing guard who spotted her wiggling in through a street-facing ground-floor window and promptly calling the cops.
West allegedly entered through a window carrying what may have been some kind of drugs, police said — although an initial report didn’t indicate anything was stolen, nor did it specify what the drugs were.
“We haven’t 100 percent figured out what’s missing, but some things are missing,” Dinowitz told The Riverdale Press Tuesday afternoon.
Others items, however, were recovered, suggesting West — whom police believe is homeless, although the Assemblyman suggested may hail from Brooklyn — might have gone in and out multiple times, and perhaps even made more than one trip.
“But we don’t know,” Dinowitz said, adding he intended to fully press charges.
While he’s grateful none of the office computers were taken, Dinowitz made it clear that, still, robbing toys from kids is just wrong.
“Apparently, she took toys meant for little children, which is really disgusting, as far as I’m concerned,” Dinowitz said. “Disgraceful.”
Dinowitz counts himself lucky he’s largely avoided crime’s crosshairs for the quarter century his district office has been headquartered at its current Kingsbridge Avenue location.
“This is the first time anything like that has ever happened,” Dinowitz said. “And hopefully the last.”
West’s alleged tactics didn’t appear to be particularly well orchestrated, he added.
“Unbelievably, she went in through a window — on the ground floor, facing the street, in daylight — and it didn’t occur to her that somebody might see her,” Dinowitz said. “She won’t win an award for brilliance.”
It’s not really clear to Dinowitz what any would-be thief might reap breaking into his office, since it’s far from being a gold mine.
“There’s no great valuables in there, no flat-screen TVs or things people would want to steal in any great amount,” he said.
West was arrested at the scene, police said, charged with burglary and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
“I certainly expect she will be prosecuted like anybody else in a similar situation,” Dinowitz said.
“And I strongly urge that she face the consequences that she should face for doing something like this.”