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Queens Chronicle

106 Chief: Crime spike is due to burglaries

South Ozone Park homes targeted

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Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:52 am, Thu Jun 27, 2013.

Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, is warning residents to look out for a “Driving Miss Daisy” situation.

Burglars in late-model cars park with the motor running, one individual sitting in the front and one individual in the back, he said.

“That means one individual is out knocking on doors,” Pascale warned.

If no one answers, they kick in the back door.

Since the beginning of the year, crime in the 106th Precinct has spiked by 8 percent according to the latest NYPD CompStat crime statistics for the period ending June 9. Pascale confirmed the fact to the packed precinct council meeting on June 12, noting that burglaries were up 25 percent for the year.

He added that the spike in burglaries was occurring mainly in South Ozone Park and the neighborhood along the east side of Aqueduct Race Track, between the track and Lefferts Boulevard.

Burglars seem to be attracted to homes with prayer flags outside where they know that occupants keep gold, cash and jewelry, many of them religious items, a problem that Pascale has spoken about for over a year.

He said the perpetrators are believed to be driving around in late-model rental cars, such as Nissan Altimas and Chevy Impalas, and usually three individuals ride in each car. Two individuals will get out of the car on a residential block and knock on the front doors of homes, while the third at a given house acts as the lookout.

In prior council meetings Pascale asked homeowners to take steps to protect their assets, urging them to rent bank safety deposit boxes to put valuables in instead of keeping them in their home, and deposit cash in a bank account. He also suggested putting good safes in their homes, bolted to the floor. He urged residents to look out for their neighbors and call 911 immediately if they see suspicious individuals or activity on their block.

Lt. Frank DiPreta, the 106th Precinct’s special operations coordinator, discussed the precinct’s response to conerns expressed at last month’s meeting, including the issue of youths recklessly riding dirt bikes and bicycles on 76th Street between North Conduit and Pitkin avenues in Ozone Park, which appeared to be resolved with the confiscation of the bikes, said DiPreta.

DiPreta said that police have issued numerous summonses to youths found to be in Joseph Addabbo Park in Tudor Village after the park closes at 9 p.m. One individual was issued a summons for parking his motorcycle in the park, in violation of the rules.

The precinct’s conditions unit will also continue to monitor that park during their midnight to 8 a.m. shift, DiPreta said.

On other concerns, DiPreta said summonses have been issued to tractor-trailers for parking overnight on the southbound side of Woodhaven Boulevard between 103rd Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard. Complaints from last month of insufficient lighting under the A train on Liberty Avenue between 100th and 104th streets were referred to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Illegal dumping concerns in the vicinity of 76th Street and Glenmore Avenue in Ozone Park were referred to the Sanitation Police.

Concerns about a homeless man sleeping at the corner of 76th Street and Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park were referred to the NYPD’’s community outreach unit. DiPreta said he was hopeful the unit would be able to convince him to go to a shelter.

Sonia, a resident of South Ozone Park, asked Pascale why it takes police up to eight hours to respond to a noise complaint. She said there was a party on her block that lasted from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Pascale said that due to the volume of noise complaints extra officers are assigned to patrol on the weekends.

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