Frustrated officials from the 109th Precinct are urging Flushing merchants to take a more active role in preventing crime in the downtown area.
Inspector Brian Maguire and Community Affairs Officer Kevin O’Donnell told the Community Board 7 district cabinet meeting last Thursday that grand larceny rates are up this year largely because merchants don’t take action when they see crimes being committed.
Twenty-one cases of grand larceny against individuals have been reported in the precinct so far this month, according to CompStat figures, compared to eight by the same time last year.
Maguire noted that pickpockets steal wallets while people are shopping. He said store owners get after thieves who try to steal their merchandise, but they don’t get involved in crimes against customers. “One hundred more cops wouldn’t help,” he said. “Employees must be educated to call 911 and be our eyes and ears.”
The precinct set up a merchants meeting Tuesday to discuss the issue and “to build better cooperation,” Maguire said.