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Queens Chronicle

Going in the right direction in 103rd

Grand larceny, shootings down for year while illegal gun seizures up

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Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:45 am, Thu Apr 18, 2013.

The 103rd Precinct had encouraging news on crime statistics Tuesday night at the monthly meeting of its Community Council.

Citing numbers through April 7, Capt. Fred Grover said major crimes in the precinct were down about 2 percent from the same time in 2012.

Grand larceny led the charge, down 40 percent for the year to date, and 37 percent for the most recent 28-day period last year.

And Grover said that was due in large part to the combined efforts of police, residents and the business community along the Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue corridors.

“A lot of grand larceny is unattended property — a purse, a wallet, a cell phone.” he said, speaking to a crowd of more than three dozen people at St. Benedict the Moor Church in Jamaica.

“It’s about awareness,” he said. “You could be shopping somewhere with your purse in your cart when something catches your eye. Then something else catches your eye. Suddenly you’re 10 feet away from your cart, and when you get to the register you find your purse or wallet or credit card is gone.”

He said the precinct’s impact officers work tirelessly to prevent such crimes and to solve them when they happen.

“But we haven’t done it alone,” he said.

He said more and more people are exercising caution, and that local merchants have been a great help by reminding their customers both by word of mouth and by issuing safety fliers that the department prints.

“A lot of the merchants hand the fliers out and ask for more, and we have officers drop them off,” he said.

Shootings, he said, have fallen from nine this time last year to five, a drop of 55 percent, while gun seizures are up from 20 to 29.

“And just a few hours ago our anti-crime unit, after a foot chase, caught a guy and he had a loaded gun in his possession,” Grover said. “Our goal is to keep taking guns off the streets.”

During a question-and-answer session, many residents had complaints about unregistered or abandoned cars, a quality-of-life issue that just happens to have been a pet peeve of the captain’s in recent years.

He said no car without license plates may be parked on a public street, and that the department does have a process for assessing and ultimately removing cars that are abandoned.

If the car is in a condition approaching junk status, the department will, after attempting to contact the owner, slap a special sticker on the vehicle and have it removed by the Department of Sanitation.

But he did warn that the process can take several days and often longer, as every effort must be made to contact the owner before a vehicle is towed.

In other news, Officer Mary Lawrence, the crime prevention officer in the 103rd, told residents that the precinct will bring equipment to mark people’s cell phones with individual serial numbers to the council’s May meeting.

“And everybody bring your friends with you,” Lawrence said.

The numbers are entered into an NYPD database and make phones traceable if they are recovered after being lost or stolen.

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