There was some good news for the attendees who packed the July 9 meeting of the 106th Precinct community council.
As of last week, crime was down two percent for the month and two percent for the year, compared to last year. Most notable in the drop were burglaries, which have fallen 27 percent this year.
Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, acknowledged there were 23 robberies in the past month; however, he said that officers had made 24 robbery arrests compared to just seven last year. Some of the arrests were of multiple perpetrators of one robbery. Further, officers had made 34 felony arrests in the previous month. They include:
• An individual was arrested in Howard Beach on July 3 at 2:30 a.m. Police were following him while he was allegedly hopping fences and trying car doors in the vicinity of 163rd Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard and arrested him for criminal trespassing. The individual has prior arrests for burglary and larceny.
• An alleged carjacker was arrested on July 6 at 130th Place and North Conduit Avenue in South Ozone Park. Police said the alleged perpetrator had 19 prior arrests and he was carrying a weapon at the time of his arrest.
• Four teenagers in two incidents in which cell phones were stolen and a man was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a vehicle and criminal trespass after he was found in a car that was not his in a private driveway at 2 a.m.
• An individual was arrested for allegedly trying to steal a license plate from a car. That suspect had 27 prior arrests.
• A man, who it was later revealed had 102 prior arrests, including for assault, burglary, drugs, criminal possession of stolen property, larceny, robbery and auto theft, was arrested for allegedly stealing items from a Howard Beach radio shack, and
• A South Ozone Park woman was arrested for making a false report to police after she alleged that perpetrators broke into her home, punched her in the face and fled when she screamed on June 10. After an investigation, police discovered surveillance camera footage that showed the woman had an argument with a man, but returned to her home.
“Nothing happened, she went (back) into her home,” Schiff said. “She lied about the whole thing,” he said.
Although auto thefts are up this year, the jump is less than in 2013, Schiff explained, and they are down about 35 percent in the past month compared to last year. He attributed the decline in auto thefts to the police checking tow trucks in the area, community awareness and his email alerts to residents. He said plainclothes officers have been deployed to Howard Beach and Lindenwood where car break-ins have been occurring.
Schiff also noted that his successful Operation Silent Night Initiative has lowered the level of noise in the community with summonses issued to noisemakers and the seizure of sound equipment for the most flagrant violators. Two of the homeowners who were issued noise summonses were found to have outstanding arrest warrants.
On the Fourth of July, precinct officers issued 130 fireworks and noise summonses without including incidents stemming from 911 calls. He said although cops could not respond to every complained, the police did respond to the homes of known violators from previous years.
“It was an ongoing battle, it’s an uphill battle, we’ll do the best we can,” Schiff said.