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Off-Duty Rookie Cop Nabs Serial Burglary, Forcible Touching Suspect

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A groping in the park was enough to get a serial burglary suspect pinched by police.

At 2:44 p.m. Wednesday, a woman in a bikini was lying in Carl Schurz park on the Upper East Side when a man grabbed her posterior, police said.

The woman screamed, called the man a pervert and took his picture with her cellphone, according to police.

The ruckus caught the attention of rookie officer Eric Sullivan, who happened to be reading a book in the park on his day off, police said.

Sullivan followed the suspect and called 911, giving a description and pursuing him until East 91st Street and First Avenue.

Officers responding to the scene canvassed the area and spotted Thomas Cronin, who matched the suspect's description and was returning to the park to retrieve his bicycle, police said.

The woman identified Cronin and he was taken into custody.

Cronin, 53, was also wanted for questioning in a series of burglaries, police said.

He now faces 11 counts of burglary, forcible touching and sex abuse charges.

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