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Queens Chronicle

NYPD targets burglaries in 105th Precinct

Impact Response Team officers deployed to precinct’s hot spots

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:34 am, Thu Apr 11, 2013.

The 105th Precinct is getting a massive wave of reinforcements from the NYPD in response to an increase in burglaries and other crimes in and around the Rosedale area.

But Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis also is asking the public for its help.

Speaking on March 27 at the monthly meeting of the 105th Precinct Community Council, Courtesis, the commanding officer of the precinct, said the burglaries are taking place largely in residential areas, frequently between the hours of 7 and 11:30 a.m.

“What bothers me, what is really disturbing, is how aggressive they are being,” Courtesis said. “They are ringing doorbells and if no one answers they are kicking in doors. But sometimes people don’t answer their doorbells.”

He said residents, who know those who belong on their blocks and those who do not, can be helpful, but cautioned them to do so within reason and common sense, illustrating his point when a resident spoke of a seemingly abandoned car with out-of-state plates that has been near her home for a long time.

“That may be just a nuisance that you can report to 311, or call us up and we’ll come by and figure it out ... The cars I’m worried about are those that keep circling the block and keep circling the block. I want to know about those. Call 911 and use the phrase ‘suspicious person.’ That can be reconnaissance, and then suddenly someone gets out of the car and starts knocking on doors.”

The thieves have been targeting cash, jewelry and when convenient, electronics.

The latter, he said all come with serial numbers which he said owners should keep on record somewhere in the event they are ever stolen.

Many Apple products, he added, have features that when activated can help locate the devices even without a serial number, though he said the additional information is helpful.

Courtesis said Rosedale is the precinct’s current hot spot, and that the NYPD is providing reinforcements from its Impact Response Team, a group of officers sent in to flood troubled areas of the city with a visible and active police presence of 50 officers who have been detailed.

“They’re like firemen,” Courtesis said. “And right now my fire is in Rosedale.”

There is also some increased activity in Laurelton.

“It’s not crazy, but enough to get my attention,” he said

Residents and business owners, he said, can be the eyes and ears of the precinct, but he cautioned against a potentially dangerous confrontation.

“If you can get a license number of a car, it helps us,” he said. “But get it without getting more involved than you should.”

He said burglar alarms are helpful in protecting property. But he added that even if an alarm scares off an intruder, it is important for his officers to get a call.

“Alarms are good for you because you haven’t lost your property,” he said. “But I can’t treat it that way. An attempt was still made.”

He also recommended routine measures such as always locking doors and windows when not around, and installing additional locks on windows that will allow them to open a certain amount, but not enough to allow entry.

The inspector said they have had an increase near schools where parents drop off younger children, thus requiring parents to leave their cars to go up to or into the building. Upon returning some mothers have returned to their vehicles to find that the purses they left behind have been taken.

According to statistics presented by Courtesis, major crimes were down from 2012 in every category except robberies for the 28-day period ending on March 24.

Auto theft led all declines at 34.6 percent, falling from 26 to 17. Robberies were up from 27 in 2012 to 31 this year.

Major crimes reported for the entire year were up slightly — 3.2 percent — with grand larcenies increasing from 121 to 135; burglaries from 107 to 125; and robberies from 89 top 98.

The precinct has, however, had only one murder this year as opposed to three this time in 2012.

Felony assault complaints are down nearly 12 percent, from 68 to 60, while auto thefts have plummeted nearly 22 percent from 73 last year to 57 in 2013.

Misdemeanor assault reports also are sharply down, from 132 last year to 112 — a 15 percent drop — through March 24.

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