Police suggest that the Atlantic Avenue break-in and Greenpoint car theft, though all but simultaneous, were a coincidence; however, the timing is suspicious, especially when you consider that Levin is the former chief of staff to Assembleyman and comically villainous Broooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez, whose armor has been sporting some serious chinks of late.
Late last month, 14-term Bed-Stuy congressman Ed Towns announced he was running for the lowly position of District Leader, a seat left vacant by his son and recent Cuomo appointee Daryl. This could be seen as a move by a longtime Lopez rival to keep the seat free of Vito's influence—it's at ground-level positions such as these where Brooklyn Democrats have started to mount a coordinated opposition to the machine run by Lopez and his cronies.
Last summer, in a major upset covered extensively by the L, fresh-faced Lincoln Restler defeated Lopez's preferred candidate in a District Leader election. Since then, Restler hasn't been shy about lobbing verbal grenades at Lopez, in these pages and elsewhere.
So, did someone steal Steve Levin's car to "send a message" that he could no longer depend upon his political mentor to ensure his easy passage through the cutthroat world of Brooklyn politics? It's literally impossible to believe otherwise.
Asked by email whether he stole Steve Levin's car, Lincoln Restler told us, "Truth be told I don't even have a driver's license. I'd be happy to give Steve a ride to work on my bike though." Which, though it has the whiff of non-denial denial about it, ought to settle the issue of the car theft, if not Vito Lopez's evidently waning influence.