|Where's Lennie Briscoe when you need him?|
Law & Order star Jesse L. Martin could have used some backup this week when some real-life crooks broke into his SUV and made off with his belongings, including an iPod and autographed headshots.
The 37-year-old actor was eating breakfast in an Allen Street restaurant in his native Buffalo at approximately 11:15 a.m., Monday, during a break in shooting an indie movie when the incident took place, according to the Buffalo News.
A spokesman for Buffalo's Central District Police Department said the thieves snatched Martin's luggage, valued at $2,000, which held about $500 worth of clothing, a $450 video iPod and dozens of autographed photos of the actor.
Also swiped were personal effects belonging to the movie's director, Peter McGennis, and casting director, Brette Goldstein. All told, authorities estimated the haul at $8,450.
"I'm ashamed of my city. I feel like our community let him down," McGennis told the Buffalo News. "The purpose of the film is to make people feel good about Buffalo, and that's why Jesse came here. I had to drop him off at the airport with nothing but his wallet."
Martin, who flew into his hometown on Saturday for the weekend shoot of the film, titled Buffalo Bushido, was dismayed by the burglary, but apparently handled it much like his L&O alter ego, Detective Ed Green, might have dealt with it.
"He wasn't furious," said McGennis. "We're just disappointed and crushed...he's such a positive person. I've never seen a celebrity with so much grace."
Only minutes before, Martin reportedly told his companions how happy he was to be back in Buffalo, having grown up there and graduated from the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. He also offered career advice to the restaurant's cook, an aspiring comedian, signed autographs for patrons and suggested one day launching an indie film festival in the city.
"He's lived in New York City for 20 years and has never been robbed or a victim of theft," McGennis added. "He comes back here, and in two days he gets fleeced."
Police say they are continuing to investigate but do not yet have any suspects.
Martin knows a thing or two about the criminal mind—at least the TV version—having appeared as Green in all four Law & Orders, the original series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Trial by Jury.
Aside from his ongoing stint on Dick Wolf's procedural franchise, Martin starred in last year's big-screen adaptation of Rent, reprising his Broadway role. Other TV credits include a plum part as the Ghost of Christmas Present opposite Kelsey Grammer's Ebenezer Scrooge in NBC's 2004 TV musical version of A Christmas Carol, and episodes of Ally McBeal, The X-Files and New York Undercover.