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Queens Chronicle

Traffic, car thefts, top concerns in 102 Pct.

Four cops who stopped robbery in progress honored at Tuesday meeting

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:13 am, Thu Mar 27, 2014.

Don’t double-park and don’t jaywalk.

The 102nd Precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Hank Sautner, delivered that warning to people at the precinct’s monthly community council meeting on Tuesday night at the Richmond Hill library.

As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program, Sautner said his officers would be strictly enforcing traffic laws and busting cars that double-park, especially along Jamaica Avenue at subway stations where double-parked cars are common. He said the cops would crack down on jaywalking as well.

Sautner noted that pedestrian fatalities have been an issue in the precinct’s command. Five pedestrians were killed last year in the 102nd Precinct, two of them at Jamaica Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, where a Queens Patrol Borough South van has been parked for several weeks. A woman was killed after being hit by a car on Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill last month.

“Bottom line, we know here as members of this community that traffic is a serious condition,” the commanding officer said. “We will enforce the laws especially where we’ve had problems already.”

Sautner said there has been a problem in Ozone Park and Woodhaven with luxury cars, especially newer model Range Rovers, being stolen at gunpoint. One such carjacking occurred on March 8 at 89th Street and Jamaica Avenue, where two suspects fled with a white Range Rover.

“Be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “Especially when you’re parking your cars at night.”

On the issue of graffiti, Sautner noted that it has been a huge problem in the precinct and the cops have been trying their hardest to crack down on it with little success.

“We’ve taken 38 graffiti complaints in the past 28 days. We’ve made 24 arrests,” he said. “Whenever Queens South comes up with graffiti stats, the 102 is always up there.”

Sautner also discussed the Phagwah parade on Sunday in Richmond Hill saying it was without incident, and he thanked the officers of the neighboring 106th Precinct, where the parade started, for their help.

“It went off without a hitch,” he said. “It was a really nice time.”

Sautner also awarded the Cop of the Month award to several officers who captured a robbery suspect earlier this month.

Sgt. Brian Tiernan, the precinct’s anti-crime sergeant, and officers Ritchie Sagistano, Antwone Trent, and Kenny Vencek received the award for capturing the suspect in an assault and robbery in Richmond Hill on March 12 while the crime was taking place. They had been on duty in the area to respond to a pattern of robberies and assaults at bars there.

“It was just great work,” he said.

Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) also attended the meeting and announced she is introducing a law to ban “spoofing,” where callers redirect phone calls so that the caller ID of the person receiving the call changes to a number they’d be more willing to answer, such as the police or a utility company. She said it was already against the law to conduct “spoofing” in the country, but her bill would ban it for calls made from overseas as well.

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