Unaccustomed crime spikes in 112th Pct. 1

City crime trends that traditionally have bypassed the 112th Precinct have been reflected in the last six-plus months according to statistics provided by the NYPD.

Crime doesn’t appear to be taking a spring holiday in the 112th Precinct.

Speaking to a virtual meeting of Community Board 6 on June 8, Deputy Inspector Joseph Cappelmann, commanding officer in the 112th, said the precinct is registering numbers to which its residents — and police officers — are unaccustomed.

The entire meeting can be viewed online at bit.ly/3zD3n8p.

“We’re struggling with crime in the 112th, as we are throughout the city,” Cappelmann said. “We are up significantly from where we were last year. We are going up against some significant numbers at this point last year. We were very, very low.”

CompStat numbers posted by the NYPD through June 12, four days after the meeting, show reported major, or index, crimes up 55.5 percent over the same time period in 2021. The commander said grand larcenies are driving the precinct’s crime numbers.

“They account for 58 percent of our major crimes,” Cappelmann said. “They have largely been identity theft-related, including compromised bank accounts and ATM transactions.”

The latter, he said, generally have been the result of skimming devices, realistic-looking attachments that criminals place over the slots where people insert credit or debit cards.

They have an electronic device that captures information off an inserted card’s magnetic strip and can, by themselves or with the help of a surreptitiously placed camera, steal a consumer’s PIN.

Auto thefts are up, as are instances of people trying door handles to steal valuables left in cars. Catalytic converter theft, a citywide problem, also has not spared the 112th.

“Traditionally, the targets are older-model Honda CRVs and Honda Accords,” Cappelmann said. “Recently they’ve been targeting Mitsubishi SUVs.”

And, the CO added, his officers have been confronting more than just property crime.

“Despite the challenges we’re facing, the members of the 112th Precinct, my officers, are working diligently to keep the community safe,” he said. “Two weeks ago, we recovered a loaded firearm from a traffic stop. Just last week, we were doing an observation post on a problematic corner where my neighborhood coordination officers observed a 16-year-old male remove a firearm from a bag and place it in his pocket.”

Cappelmann said after a brief foot chase, the teen was apprehended.

“This is a person who had previously been arrested for a shooting,” he said. “And he’s been shot. And he’s only 16 years old. Guns are a problem in our country and in our city. And prior to this year they weren’t really a problem here.

“But since December, we’ve seen some calls for things that we don’t tend to see in this community.”

He also cautioned people who live in apartment buildings to not leave their mail in mail boxes either overnight or for long periods of time, as they are investigating instances where skeleton keys used by postal workers to open many boxes at once have been used to steal mail from some buildings.

Asked for further information during the subsequent question-and-answer session, Cappelmann said theft from the large outdoor green mailboxes has been reported elsewhere in Queens, but has not been a problem in the 112th.

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