Crooks impersonate cops. Caught by OnStar.

Nicholas Papaleo and Constantino Christo, both of Brooklyn, were tooling around in Whitestone, dressed as cops and bent on robbing a drug deal on the night before Christmas, police said. When they saw Robert Kapovic outside his well-kept home, they figured he might offer just as much bounty and a lot less resistance.

Wearing knockoff police gear, including bullet-proof vests and badges and sporting handcuffs and real-looking guns, the men grabbed Kapovic and pushed their way into his home, where Kapovic’s wife, Deidre Capone, was waiting…

When Kapovic tried to break free, they pistol whipped him and then threatened his wife, ominously asking, “Do you ever want to see your kids?” police said.

Capone wriggled free from her cuffs but lay still until, after 3-1/2 hours, the crooks finally left her home in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

As soon as the duo left, Capone untied her husband and called the cops as Kapovic jumped in his car and followed the crooks. Police tracked Kapovic’s car via OnStar, the security system in his car, as he tailed the crooks. Cops captured the thieves and recovered the stolen goods.

The two crooks were charged with burglary, robbery, assault, impersonation and endangering the welfare of a child. Papaleo was held without bail and Christo held on $1 million bail.

OnStar is a great example of the economies of production as a hi-tech product gains acceptance. When I sold OnStar systems as an after-market device for the biggest security company in the world – a dozen years ago – basic cost and installation ran about $3K. Now, it’s just another almost affordable option.

As for the thugs? Throw away the key!

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