Crime in the 104th Precinct may have dropped significantly in 2013, but the new year has already seen its fair share of activity.
At a press briefing conducted at the Ridgewood-based precinct, the commanding officer, Capt. Christopher Manson, highlighted the capture of five men suspected of committing multiple brazen burglaries within the confines of the 104th Precinct since September.
Robert Martin, 27, and his brother Sean Martin, 19 of Ozone Park; Jose Rosario, 25, of Woodhaven; Christopher Aulet, 21, of Brooklyn; and a 15-year-old whose name was not released were arrested as they allegedly attempted to burglarize a Kew Gardens Hills deli in the 107th Precinct on Jan. 3.
Manson said the five suspects were also responsible for the alleged burglaries of San Remo Pizzeria at 56-01A Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood on Sept. 21 and, more recently, Andy’s Deli on 82-17 Eliot Ave. in Middle Village on Dec. 17. The crimes were just two in a spree of two dozen burglaries in South Queens.
“They tried to flee the police and climb into trees and such. But it was a very good capture,” Manson said. “I believe there were a total of 24 crimes like that.”
When it comes to crime in the precinct around the time of the ball dropping in Times Square, Manson could only describe it as “crazy.”
Well before the sun rose for the first time in 2014, the precinct was flooded with calls describing incidents ranging from shoot-outs to individuals dueling with Louisville Sluggers in hand.
“At 4 a.m., we had seven or eight cars out there. They were all on calls and we were holding 15 other calls,” Manson said, noting that some calls were fake or greatly exaggerated. “We were getting calls for shots fired, robberies, people fighting with baseball bats, it just didn’t stop.”
The 104th Precinct also carried out a successful sting operation on Jan. 3, targeted at delis and bars selling alcohol to underage persons. Of the 16 locations that the precinct sent an underage person into to buy alcohol, 15 failed.
Two of those locations now face the possibility of being shut down as this was their third such violation.
“We closed four businesses in 2013 and we’ll close probably twice that many this year because we’re going to be even more aggressive,” he said. “We’re already submitting the paperwork to close them down.”
Manson said the 104th Precinct will also crack down on disruptive individuals in Highland Park, which straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens.
Many complaints have been logged about those who litter and make a notable amount of noise in the park after sunset during the warmer months, and the precinct will take a hard stance at keeping the commotion to a minimum.
“We’ll be closing the park at 9 p.m. every night,” he said. “We’ll be putting cops there sometime in March, or April 1st at the latest. Once we start, it won’t stop.”
When discussing last week’s snowstorm and the following brutal bitter cold snap, Manson said that accidents were only slightly up, and having police cruisers on nearly every major street corner helped keep people safe.
“Most people slowed down in the snow,” he said. “At large intersections, we had [officers] stop and stay there with the turn lights to slow traffic down. It appears to have worked.”