Residents packed into the 106th Precinct at this month’s community council meeting in Oct. 9 to meet Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, the precinct’s new commander, and voice concerns about quality-of-life issues.
Schiff told the audience that he would be implementing his successful “Spot It to Secure It” program in the precinct, which involves cops patrolling the neighborhood for parked cars that have iPhones, iPads, laptops and other valuables inside and in plain sight. The officers will snap pictures and mail, to the vehicle’s owners reminding them not to leave belongings in their cars.
Schiff said that in addition to criminal charges, he might also seek civil forfeiture penalties against bars, clubs and pawn shops that are found to be in violation of the law.
In an effort to curtail the repetitive noisemakers in the community, Schiff and his staff will be reviewing noise complaints for the past three years and sending registered warning letters to the chronic violators informing them of the required permits they will need.
“Those individuals will know that we are looking at them,” Schiff said.
Schiff introduced the precinct’s new executive officer, Capt. John Ganley, a 21-year veteran of the NYPD and assigned to the 106th Precinct with Schiff.
Howard Beach resident Rita Pristina, whose locked car was broken into three times since July, without a scratch on the door, asked Schiff how the thief could have gained access to her car. Pristina said that on the third break-in, she spotted the thief at 1:30 a.m., dressed in a black hoodie. He was scared away when a neighbor yelled at him.
She had heard that there are master keys for her model car, and asked if this was true.
“It wouldn’t surprise me,” Schiff said, adding, “It’s not unheard of for something like that to happen.”
Pristina’s neighbor, Mary Ellen Krowicki, told Schiff that her and her daughter’s boyfriend’s cars were also broken into without any sign of forced entry. The women said that it was not possible to break into their cars with a “slim-jim,” a thin piece of metal used to pick locks.
Krowicki didn’t report any of the break-ins to the police because she believed them to be petty thievery. Schiff reminded the audience to always report any crime to the police, no matter how minor or petty they believe it is.
“Basically, if you have a crime occur and don’t report it, we don’t know where to go,” Schiff said.
The inspector said that every Monday, he reviews the crime reports for the previous 28 days to see where he should deploy resources.
A South Ozone Park resident who did not give her name, complained about loud music every Friday night near her home in the vicinity of 132nd Street and Sutter Avenue.
“All I want to do is just get a good night’s sleep at night,” she said.
South Richmond Hill resident Moody Bandelly, who complained about loud music at a bar in the vicinity of 129th Street and Liberty Avenue at the July community council meeting, said the problem continues.
Schiff was aware of the location and the police and other agencies, including the Department of Buildings, the FDNY, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the State Liquor Authority conducted a joint operation at the bar on Sept. 27.
Schiff added that the DEP sound-level meter check showed that the music was within the limits allowed under the city noise law, although the DOB and the FDNY did issue summonses to the bar owner for other violations. There were no SLA violations.