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Murdered at pool hall

Murdered at pool hall

Cops have arrested a 49-year-old man in connection with a murder at an underground pool hall on Broadway.

The January 2 slaying was the first murder to take place in Williamsburg in 2010, officials said.

According to published reports, suspected murderer Mauro Lopez was drinking and shooting stick at a pool hall in the back of a bodega near Keap Street at 3:30 p.m. when he got involved in an argument with the victim, a relative.

Lopez then stormed out of the store claiming that he was going to get a gun, police alleged.

He returned a few minutes later, allegedly training a pistol on his victim, who was shot in the chest.

Officials said that two patrol officers apprehended Lopez shortly after the shooting. Detectives had connected him to the slaying by the next day, charging him with murder.

Car conundrum

Is possession nine-tenths of the law if someone else has the title to a car?

That’s the question a bone-headed car owner was probably wondering after his car was taken away from him twice in two days.

According to published reports, the victim freely admitted to police that he had left his Mazda unlocked and the keys inside when he parked it for the night on South 9th Street between Driggs Avenue and Roebling Street on the night of January 3.

When he woke up -- surprise, surprise -- the car was gone.

The victim said that he searched the area for his car, ultimately finding it on South 10th Street.

But whoever took the car was a bit more careful than its owner. He had locked it before going home, police said.

The victim called 911 and a tow truck, but the would-be thief got back into the car and drove off with his wheels -- again -- following a brief confrontation.

Shootings down

The number of shootings in Williamsburg dropped by half in 2009, according to NYPD officials.

Police said that ten people were shot by the end of the year -- eleven less than the 21 hit by gunfire in 2008.

The disparity represents a 52.4 percent drop in gun violence, officials said.

Yet felony assaults are up, albeit slightly.

Officials said that 223 people were reportedly assaulted in 2009 -- four more than the 219 who had been attacked in 2008.

Arson clean-up

A man tending to his clothes at a late-night laundry may be able to help cops in their search for the two arsonists who lit up a Harrison Place apartment building on December 29 where a 17-year-old girl was killed.

Police said that five people were also injured in the 4:30 a.m. blaze between Porter and Knickerbocker avenues that killed Grover Cleveland High School student Sofia Olivo.

The fire, it’s believed, was started when two men poured gas in the vestibule of the three story building. A gas can was reportedly found a short distance away.

Horrified witnesses said that Olivo had a chance to follow her relatives out an open window, but ended up getting trapped by the flames. At least one of her relatives, a cousin, was still hospitalized for injuries she suffered trying to pull Olivo out.

Cops said that they have video footage of two men dousing the vestibule with gasoline. The faces of the two men are obscured, however.

Yet there is a possible witness, police said. A man doing his laundry may have seen the suspects as they entered the building at that late hour.

Cops are distributing a photo of the witness in the hopes that he comes forward and tells investigators what he knows.

No motives behind the arson were forthcoming as this paper went to press.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to come forward.

Calls can be made to either the 90th Precinct at (718) 963-5311 or the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Check cashing heist

Police are looking for two area men who held up a Check Cashing store on Wyckoff Avenue.

Police said that the two men walked up to B&H Check Cashing Services near Stockholm Street just as it was being open at 7:30 a.m. on December 21.

The men pulled a gun, grabbed the female employee as she opened the store and forced her inside.

They then forced her to open the safe, officials said.

Police said that the two men left the store with an undetermined amount of cash.

They were last seen fleeing the area in a dark colored Chevrolet Tahoe.

Police described the two men as Hispanic males.

One of the men was wearing a green jacket and black ski-cap and grey hood. His accomplice sported a black jacket, black ski-cap and black hood.

Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward.

Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Help wipe out graffiti

As the ongoing war against graffiti vandalism continues, cops are now offering a $500rewardto anyone with information that can lead them to graffiti vandals.

The hefty reward is part of the city’s new push to rid New York of graffiti, which is one of the leading quality of life complaints brought to police.

Officials said that cleaning up graffiti is essential to the plan, to show that the community is no longer going to tolerate marred and tagged-up walls and street corners.

According to police, there is a perception that if a community will tolerate graffiti, they will tolerate other criminal activities, such as drug dealing and prostitution.

Anyone with information about graffiti vandalism is urged to contact either 311 or 911.

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