Maspeth resident Roy Renna has been a member of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol for only about a month, but he has already played a big role in helping police apprehend an alleged criminal.
Around 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 14, Staten Island resident Jimmie Knight allegedly robbed Chase Bank at 66-02 Grand Ave. in Maspeth after simulating a weapon in his coat pocket, according to police.
As Knight walked down Grand Avenue after his alleged heist, Renna, 34, was listening to his police scanner.
“I heard a call come over the scanner about the bank being robbed, so I took a ride over there,” Renna said. “I reached the back of the bank and didn’t see any cop cars there.
“So I drove down Grand Avenue and heard the cops put the perp’s clothing description over the air. As they put it over the air, I saw this individual with a fur coat,” he continued. “So I kept an eye on him as cops drove right past me. I went to the cops and said a person matching the perp was walking down Grand Avenue.”
Police heeded Renna’s words and upon stopping and frisking Knight, allegedly found that he had a significant sum of money on his person and took him into custody.
Knight would later be charged with robbery, menacing, criminal possession of stolen property and harassment, according to police.
GCOP President Frank Kotnick is thankful that one of his own was in the right place at the right time.
“It’s a good thing he was there,” Kotnick said. “We do a lot of good stuff and this just happens to be one of the good things.”
In response to Renna’s assisting of the police in Knight’s arrest, Kotnick would also love to see the incident lead to GCOP gaining some much needed volunteers.
“We’re always looking for additional new members for the patrol, new volunteers,” he said. “We’re not looking for vigilantes, just to be the eyes and ears of the Police Department.”
While both Renna and Kotnick are proud of his accomplishment, he says the only thing he is truly excited about is the alleged criminal’s capture.
“I felt good afterwards. Frank called me and said that I did a good job,” he said. “I’m just really happy that he’s off the street.”
Anyone interested in becoming a member of GCOP is asked to call (718) 497-1500 or go to g-cop.com for more information.