30 Cars in 75 Days, and, Police Say, One Thief

Reynaldo NazarioN.Y. State Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision Reynaldo Nazario

On May 18, a man named Reynaldo Nazario got out of prison, having spent 9 of the last 10 years locked away on a series of convictions relating to auto theft.

Within a few weeks, prosecutors said, he went to work.

On Aug. 9, according to a criminal complaint, Mr. Nazario, 35, showed up at an auto graveyard in the shadow of Interstate-95 in the Bronx with a 1997 Honda Accord that he had stolen elsewhere in the borough, claimed to be its owner, and sold it for scrap for $350.

Two days later, the complaint says, he did the same with a 1995 Accord.

On Aug. 21, the complaint says, Mr. Nazario scrapped two m ore mid-1990s Accords, and two days after that, an Accord and a Toyota Camry.

And so on and so on, according to the complaint. For more than two months, if the authorities are to be believed, Mr. Nazario operated a one-man auto-theft ring.

On the morning of Oct. 23, the authorities said, he took in a 1994 Accord — the most-stolen car in America — was paid his $350 and placed under arrest.

He had sold to the scrap yard, according to the authorities, 30 stolen cars in the span of 75 days, or an average of one every 60 hours.

The scrapyard, New England Auto Parts on Boston Road in Eastchester, had been cooperating in an undercover investigation run by the police, the Bronx district attorney’s office said. Some of the cars were returned to their owners, the office said; it was not immediately clear what happened to the rest.

On Friday, the district attorney’s office announced that Mr. Nazario, of West 182nd Street in University Heights in the Bronx, had been indicted on charges of 26 of the thefts. The other four cases are still being heard by the grand jury, officials said.

Looking at the list of thefts attributed to Mr. Nazario, patterns emerge. All of the cars were from the 1990s. Twenty-six of them were Honda Accords. Three were Nissans, and one was a Toyota. The longest Mr. Nazario went without taking in a stolen car, the complaint says, was 10 days. In the three days of Oct. 10 to Oct. 12, he took in six cars, the complaint said.

He is charged with 26 felony counts of grand larceny, 26 counts of criminal possession of stolen property and 26 counts of falsifying business records. If found guilty and given consecutive terms, he could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

So far, though, Mr. Nazario’s stretches have been shorter, according to the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. He served 15 months starting in 2002 for unauthoriz ed use of a 1987 Toyota Camry; two years and 10 months for an assault that involved hitting several police officers with a stolen car, crushing one of the officers against another car; two years for criminal possession of a stolen 1995 Accord; 10 months on a parole violation; and two years one month for stealing a 1997 Honda.

At New England Auto Parts, located on a desolate cul-de-sac behind a barbed-wire-topped fence across from a forlorn-looking copse of bare trees and down the block from a bowling alley, employees said they had been instructed by their boss not to speak to the news media.

Matthew Wolfe contributed reporting.

Criminal Complaint Nazario, Reynaldo (PDF)

Criminal Complaint Nazario, Reynaldo (Text)

Judge Says Man Who Set Woman Ablaze Must Be Examined Before Sentencing

Jerome Isaac, who admitted to setting a woman on fire and killing her inside an elevator, appeared in a Brooklyn courtroom on Friday. John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times Jerome Isaac, who admitted to setting a woman on fire and killing her inside an elevator, appeared in a Brooklyn courtroom on Friday.

The man who set a woman ablaze in an elevator last December – brutally killing her just steps from her apartment – said that he had heard voices and that the devil had told him what to do, a Brooklyn State Supreme Court judge said on Friday.

The man, Jerome Isaac, 48, made these statements after waiving an insanity defense and pleading guilty last month to first-degree murder and second-degree arson.

< p>Mr. Isaac faces at least 50 years in prison.

But on Friday, as Mr. Isaac prepared to be sentenced, the judge, Justice Vincent Del Giudice, cited a probation report that detailed Mr. Isaac’s statements and delayed the hearing. Mr. Isaac needed to undergo an examination of his mental health before he could be sentenced, Justice Del Guidice said.

“I want to be sure he’s competent,” he said.

Mr. Isaac’s lawyer, Howard Tanner, said he believed Mr. Isaac was competent.

“He’s been remorseful throughout this process,” Mr. Tanner said, adding that Mr. Isaac had pleaded guilty to “spare the family any further trauma.”

At one point, a daughter of the victim, Deloris Gillespie, burst into tears.

“Several doctors already examined him,” the daughter, Sheila Gillespie-Hillsman said in an interview, adding, “I just want to get this over with.”

Relatives and authorities said the killing stemmed fro m a disagreement over money: Ms. Gillespie had hired Mr. Isaac to help her clean out her three-bedroom apartment in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn.

But when Ms. Gillespie came to believe that Mr. Isaac was stealing from her, she fired him.

On Dec. 17, 2011, two surveillance cameras at Ms. Gillespie’s apartment building captured Mr. Isaac with a gas canister, and wearing white gloves and a surgical mask. As Ms. Gillespie was about to exit the elevator, near her fifth-floor apartment, Mr. Isaac sprayed her with an accelerant, then tossed a Molotov cocktail inside.

Mr. Isaac later told the authorities that Ms. Gillespie owed him $2,000.

Neil LaBute Will Write and Direct ‘Reasons to Be Pretty’ Follow-Up

MCC Theater has a reason to be happy: Its playwright-in-residence, Neil LaBute, plans to direct the premiere of his play “Reasons to Be Happy” for the theater next year. The new play is described as “companion piece” to Mr. LaBute’s savage comedy “Reasons to be Pretty” and features the same four characters — Greg, Steph, Carly and Kent — though in different romantic pairings.

No casting has yet been announced for the new play, which was reported by The Wrap.

MCC’s production of “Reasons to be Pretty” debuted at the Lucille Lortel Theater in 2008 before moving to Broadway the following year. Although the move uptown was short-lived, the production was critically acclaimed and nominated for three Tony awards. That play was billed as the third in a trilogy that included “The Shape of Things” and “Fat Pig,” all of which centered around the subject of physical beauty.

“Reasons to Be Happy,” scheduled to run from May 16 to June 2 3, replaces a previously announced production of John Pollono’s “Small Engine Repair,” which has been delayed because of scheduling conflicts for the cast.

Big Ticket | Sold for $22.5 Million

 A co-op at 907 Fifth Avenue owned by Huguette M. Clark.Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times A co-op at 907 Fifth Avenue owned by Huguette M. Clark.

The most livable of the antiquated and somewhat ghostly trio of apartments at 907 Fifth Avenue once owned, but rarely occupied, by the reclusive copper heiress Huguette M. Clark sold for $22.5 million, the most expensive sale of the week, according to city records. Mrs. Clark died in May at age 104, leaving two wills, a $400 million fortune and no direct heirs.

The co-op has three bedrooms, six and a half baths and three fireplaces, but most important, it offers a full 100 feet of prime frontage on Fifth Avenue opposite Central Park. The formidable views and inherent grandeur, though , amount to virtually the only aspect of the apartment that does not demand extensive renovation. The place also has a monthly maintenance fee of $14,176.

The buyer, Frederick J. Iseman, the chairman of CI Capital Partners, a private equity firm, paid above the $19 million asking price for No. 8W because he was permitted to annex one room and a part of a hallway at the adjacent No. 8E, the smallest of Mrs. Clark’s holdings there and the only apartment that has yet to attract a qualified buyer. That two-bedroom, two-bath unit had been listed at $9 million, but there will be a downward adjustment in price when it is returned to the market in January.

In addition to its nonpareil location in a 1915 Italianate palazzo building designed by J.E.R. Carpenter, the most appealing features of No. 8E include a 47-foot-long gallery, soaring ceilings and a corner living room with park views.

The first of the apartments that sold, her Louis XVI-style penthouse, happened to be the only one of the three in which Mrs. Clark actually lived, in antisocial splendor, attended by servants and a multimillion-dollar collection of dolls: No. 12W was snatched up in July by Boaz Weinstein, a hedge-fund whiz kid, for $25.5 million, $1.5 million above the asking price. Mrs. Clark, of her own volition, spent the final decades of her life in a hospital room and died at Beth Israel Medical Center.

Although the prime minister of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, had made Mrs. Clark’s estate what he hoped was a pre-emptive offer of $31.5 million for both eighth-floor co-ops, the notoriously fussy co-op board at 907 Fifth refused to entertain the notion of combining the units.

Mary Rutherfurd and Leslie Coleman of Brown Harris Stevens again represented the estate, and Roberta Golubock of Sotheby’s International Realty handled the transaction for Mr. Iseman.

116 East 70th Street.Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times 116 East 70th Street.

In the same price range, but in far superior condition, a five-bedroom town house at 116 East 70th Street, a tranquil block distinguished by its exquisite architecture and celebrity residents, sold for $22,398,750 to Susan Weber Soros, the former wife of the billionaire philanthropist George Soros. The 1869 town house, its facade dominated by two levels of copper-clad bow windows above fluted columns, was originally listed at $26 million in 2010. When the price was reduced to $22.5 million this year, a smitten Mrs. Soros, the founder of the Bard College Graduate Center for the decorative arts, bought it and blithely listed her splashy corner apartment at the Majestic at 115 Central Park West, No . 19E/F, for $50 million.

What she is parting with, besides her Philippe Starck-designed interiors and furniture, which are included in the deal along with a separate staff unit, are park views from every principal room and a master suite with a terrace that fronts the park.

What she is gaining, besides the potential for amusement in having Woody Allen as a neighbor, is a light-catching five-level home with four outdoor spaces and a glass breakfast solarium leading to a 26-foot-deep garden.

“You can’t hit a wrong note on that street,” said Paula Del Nunzio of Brown Harris Stevens, who represented the absentee sellers, identified as Copper House, a limited-liability company based in Wellington, Fla. S. Christopher Halstead of Halstead Property represented Mrs. Soros; he is also the listing agent for her very available 11-room spread at the Majestic.

Big Ticket includes closed sales from the previous week, ending Wednesday.

Neil LaBute Will Write, Direct Followup To ‘Reasons to be Pretty’

MCC Theater has a reason to be happy: Its playwright-in-residence, Neil LaBute, plans to direct the premiere of his play “Reasons to be Happy” for the theater next year. The new play is described as “companion piece” to Mr. LaBute’s savage comedy “Reasons to be Pretty” and features the same four characters — Greg, Steph, Carly and Kent — though in different romantic pairings.

No casting has yet been announced for the new play, which was reported by The Wrap.

MCC’s production of “Reasons to be Pretty” debuted at the Lucille Lortel Theater in 2008 before moving to Broadway the following year. Although the move uptown was short-lived, the production was critically acclaimed and nominated for three Tony awards. That play was billed as the third in a trilogy that included “The Shape of Things” and “Fat Pig,” all of which centered around the subject of physical beauty.

“Reasons to be Happy,” scheduled to run from May 16 to June 2 3, replaces a previously announced production of John Pollono’s “Small Engine Repair,” which has been delayed because of scheduling conflicts for the cast.

Graphic Books Best Sellers: The End of ‘Scalped’

At No. 3 on our paperback graphic books best-seller list this week is volume 10 of “Scalped,” written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by R.M. Guera. It is the final volume of the series that chronicled trials and tribulations at the fictional Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It was part of the Veritgo imprint from DC Comics. At the heart of the story are Dashiell Bad Horse, who grew up on the reservation and became an undercover agent for the F.B.I., and Lincoln Red Crow, the corrupt casino owner. The series has been on our paperback list several times before, including back in March and August this year.

The series is brutally violent, bleak and engrossing. I only read it in collected edition form, which i s the equivalent of watching a season’s worth of a television series in one sitting instead of consuming them in intervals as single episodes (or, in the case of comics, single issues). It’s sad to see “Scalped” end, but the plus side is that Mr. Aaron was able to complete his story. There are no hanging threads from the series being abruptly cancelled. There’s another pro, at least for me: The more I read comics, the more I crave a complete story, rather than a never-ending adventure with a status quo that seems constantly reset to zero. The characters in “Scalped” changed (or died real deaths, unlike those in superhero comics, where the afterlife has a revolving door). I’m happy to have the 10 volumes in my library alongside finite series like “Preacher” and “Y the Last Man.”

As always, the complete best-seller lists can be found here, along with an explanation of how they were assembled.

This Week’s Movies: Nov. 30

This week, Times critics offer their thoughts on the crime drama “Killing Them Softly” with Brad Pitt, the martial arts film “Dragon” and “King Kelly,” a film shot almost entirely with cellphones. See all of this week’s reviews here.

Are TV Viewers Sick of Medical Dramas?

Mamie Gummer, left, in Left, Jack Rowand/CW; right, Nathaniel Bell/FOX Mamie Gummer, left, in “Emily Owens, M.D.” and Jordana Spiro in “The Mob Doctor.”

Medical dramas are one of television’s oldest and most reliable staples, but based on Nielsen ratings from this season viewers may be growing tired of the genre. Two first-year-resident programs, “The Mob Doctor” on Fox and “Emily Owens, M.D.” on the CW network, were effectively fired on Wednesday after dismal fall performances.

While Fox was careful not to use the word “canceled” when it announced that “The Mob Doctor” would not be getting an additional episode order this seaso n, the decision to burn off some of the remaining episodes on Saturdays in December and the show’s average total viewership, at 3.7 million, strongly suggest that the program will not return.

But “Emily Owens, M.D.” was officially canceled by CW. The news came as no surprise, as the show averaged only 1.3 million viewers. Like “The Mob Doctor,” all 13 episodes from the network’s initial order will air.

Those programs are joined by other medical shows with low audience totals, like ABC’s “Private Practice” (at 5 million average viewers for its final season), “Hart of Dixie” on CW (1.4 million), and the hospital-set comedy “The Mindy Project” on Fox (3.4 million).

The only show that seems immune to this malady is ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Currently in its ninth season, that program frequently ranks as the No. 1 drama on television in the advertiser-beloved 18-to-49 category while averaging 9.9 million total viewers.

City Lifts Advisory on Recreational Water Activities

New York City environmental officials announced on Friday that they were lifting an advisory urging people to avoid coming into contact with local waterways.

The advisory, issued by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, was put in place after Hurricane Sandy damaged many of the city’s wastewater treatment plants. But water quality testing over the last two weeks showed that the waters were again safe for recreational use.

The advisory applied to the Hudson River, the East River, New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay and the Kill Van Kull.