If Maurice Mizrahi’s mom had a quarter for every stolen parking meter she’s found secreted in her house at one time or another, she’d be one rich woman.
Or, she would at least have enough money to bail out her 34-year-old son, who was once again arrested for stealing parking meters off the streets in Sheepshead Bay and Homecrest.
Police said that Mizrahi, a resident of East 1st Street near Avenue T, was charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of stolen property after several dozen stolen parking meters were recovered from his home.
Cops were reportedly called to East 1st Street by Mizrahi’s mother on August 27, when she returned home from a short trip and found upwards of 20 parking meters inside her home.
She then called police again on August 29 after 62 additional parking meters were found in a crawlspace underneath the stairs.
Mizrahi was arraigned on August 31, where he was held on $75,000 bail. He was due back in court this week, officials said.
At his next court date, prosecutors will also adjudicate an open bench warrant for his arrest after he reportedly failed to appear in court for a similar charge back on December 21.
Prosecutors said that the criminal possession of stolen property charges range from misdemeanors to felonies, which could land him up to seven years in prison if he’s convicted.
Officials told reporters that Mizrahi had been arrested seven times in the last year – all for stealing parking meters, which cost about $500 to replace and can hold $70 in quarters when filled.
Last summer, Mizrahi was arrested for swiping $9,300 worth of parking meters from both Avenue U and Avenue T.
Sources said that Mizrahi was arrested in early 2007 when he was caught wantonly drilling into the meters at the corner of Ocean Parkway and Kings Highway. Cops reportedly followed a line of pillaged meters until they found Mizrahi drilling into a parking meter and took him into custody.
A drill, hammer, two drill bits, metal punch and two screwdrivers were on his person when he was arrested, officials said.
Once he was released from prison, he quickly learned from his mistakes and changed tactics: he began yanking the meters right out of the ground – poles and all -- under the cover of darkness and took them home, where he could chisel into them at his leisure, officials said.
Police sources said that Mizrahi would use his mom’s shopping cart to transport the heavy parking meters.
When police arrested him last year, Mizrahi allegedly had 12 parking meters in his home, cops from the 61st Precinct said.
©2008 Community News Group
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