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Queens Chronicle

Cops cuffing dozens in crime crackdown

In 106th Pct., felony arrests doubled over last year in the first week of June

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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:08 am, Thu Jun 26, 2014.

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, the commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, said his officers had made 22 felony arrests in the first week of June, double the number that was made during the same period last year. That statistic comes as crime fell 3 percent last month in the precinct over last May.

Schiff told the June 10 meeting of the 106th Precinct Community Council that police arrested one person who allegedly committed four robberies in a two-hour span.

Police also arrested an individual whom they allege was responsible for stealing jewelry that he pawned at area pawn shops. Police displayed the jewelry at the precinct and asked residents who had recently had their jewelry stolen to see if they could identify any as theirs. Four residents were able to identify some of the stolen jewelry.

As part of their investigative techniques, police regularly go to area pawnshops and look at the jewelry that has been pawned and who pawned it, Schiff said.

Cops have been dealing with an ongoing problem of teen crime. Police recently arrested five high school students who allegedly burglarized a home at 11 a.m. when Schiff said they should have been attending school. Also, on May 17 at 4:40 a.m. four teenagers allegedly mugged a woman at 106th Avenue and 77th Street and took off running. Police caught up with them at Liberty Avenue and 76th Street and arrested them before they could make their escape on the subway.

The precinct is also seeing auto parts being stolen from cars, he said. On May 9 at 1 a.m. officers arrested two men accused of stealing a headlight from a car at 109th Avenue and 108th Street in Ozone Park.

Cops also say they found two hardened criminals while making simple shoplifting arrests. One was caught allegedly shoplifting at Home Depot in Ozone Park. It was later revealed that he had 15 prior arrests, including for robbery, rape and stolen vehicles, while another alleged shoplifter arrested in Waldbaum’s in Lindenwood had 35 prior arrests, including for burglary, auto thefts and possession of illegal drugs, they said.

Lt. Frank DiPreta, 106th Precinct Special Operations Unit coordinator, also discussed the police response to last month’s quality-of-life complaints from residents.

He said police went to a boarded-up house at 108th Street and 103rd Avenue in South Richmond Hill in response to a complaint that squatters were living there and leaving all their garbage outside around the house. DiPreta said that when officers went to the location they found the house to be boarded up and secure and no squatter on the premises. However, he said police are aware of the situation and would continue to monitor it.

A complaint was made about homeless individuals living under Belt Parkway overpasses. DiPreta said police checked the locations, but did not find any individuals living there and referred the issue to the NYPD Homeless Outreach Unit.

DiPreta personally addressed a resident’s complaint about a homeless woman who hangs out in front of the Howard Beach Library, Waldbaum’s and CVS on Cross Bay Boulevard.

He spoke to the woman, whose name is Josephine, who was outside Waldbaum’s knitting when he found her. DiPreta told her that people had complained that she was aggressively panhandling. She denied it. DiPreta advised the audience that since she was not violating any laws no enforcement action could be taken at the time.

A parent complained about school buses parking illegally outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help School at 111th Avenue and 114th Street in South Ozone Park. DiPreta said that school buses are allowed to park in the vicinity of the school as long as the driver is in the bus and it is within school hours. He said there were additional complaints that the buses were blocking the crosswalks and intersections, but police found no evidence of that.

Another resident, who did not give her name, complained about graffiti on North Conduit Avenue between 127th Street and 114th Street in South Ozone Park.

“That’s been on the list for cleanup forever,” she said.

Police Officer Frank Reina, coordinator of the precinct’s auxiliary unit, which performs the graffiti cleanup operation, said that he is aware of the condition; however, he said the homeowners are not willing to give their permission for it to be cleaned up.

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