Tag Archives: 104th Precinct

In Glendale, 104th Precinct looks to improve on crime drop


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Crime numbers continue to plummet in the 104th Precinct, but the command is looking to do even better.

Capt. Mark Wachter, the 104th Precinct’s commanding officer, came to the precinct’s Community Council meeting on Tuesday at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale and reported a 26 percent reduction in overall crime in the past month. This included a significant downturn in domestic violence and felony assaults.

The precinct also experienced a 40 percent decrease in grand larcenies and stolen cars. Wachter credits crime prevention tactics, such as personalized home visits and spreading awareness about scams, with the large reduction.

In an effort to confront quality of life concerns, the 104th Precinct also held a successful undercover sting operation last Saturday to combat prostitution along Cypress Avenue and Starr Street on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border. According to Wachter, officers made six arrests and seized one vehicle for illicit activity.

“We put pressure on and basically make it go away,” he explained, “We don’t want it to go somewhere else; we want it to go away.”

Despite these victories, burglaries remain an area of particular concern for the command.  The Community Council’s Public Safety Committee and P.O. Eddie Collado of the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit delivered a video presentation and discussion on home burglary prevention.

“The burglar is an opportunist,” Collado said. According to police, perpetrators often gain access to homes through unlocked rear windows, doors and fire escapes.

Collado urged residents to secure windows and doors with the proper locks and volunteered to conduct personalized home safety surveys upon appointment. He also asked that residents register their valuable items such as electronics and bicycles with the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit. The items are marked with serial numbers that can potentially help identify and recover them if lost or stolen.

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

P.O. Sean Paul Hynes was honored as Cop of the Month for apprehending a suspect wanted for robbing a Boar’s Head delivery truck driver at gunpoint on April 21 on Woodward Avenue at Woodbine Street in Ridgewood.

According to Wachter, Hynes and his fellow officers from the 104th Precinct’s Anti-Crime Unit were able to track the suspect and his getaway vehicle through the use of undisclosed computer resources. Within minutes of the robbery, Hynes was able to track the vehicle to a specific location in Brooklyn.

A brief foot pursuit ensued, after which the male and his weapon were taken into custody.

“It’s one less gun on the street, but we can never measure how many victims the gun could have taken out,” Wachter said.

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Volunteer patrol praised for efforts to find missing Glendale student


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Efforts to track down a missing Glendale student and honors for a graffiti-fighting cop were highlighted during Thursday’s meeting of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall in Glendale.

Capt. Gregory Mackie, 104th Precinct executive officer, commended the civilian patrol for their help in the search for 12-year-old Kwan Williams, a student at P.S. 113 in Glendale, who went missing after school on May 11. After an extensive precinct-wide search, Williams was eventually found safe at his father’s home in Manhattan.

As part of the effort, the 104COP mobilized 13 patrol cars in the search for Williams. Units searched local parking lots and parks, including Juniper Park, Mafera Park and the Forest Park Bandshell and surrounding areas.

In addition to the diligence of the patrols, 104COP members also credited social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter with helping to spread the word about the missing boy. According to Mark Pearson, 104COP first vice president, the missing persons flyer was posted and tweeted to all of the local civic groups social media pages. It was shared an estimated 350 times online, and reportedly reached 35,000 people.

“It was a great showing of community,” Pearson said.

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit commended the use of social media in the search for Williams. “Let’s take advantage of the outlet we have and use it for something good,” he said.

Frank Kotnik, 104COP president, expressed pride over the effort and the search’s success.

“We’re out there and we’re looking to help,” Kotnik said. “It’s a good feeling that we had a purpose.”

The patrol also honored P.O. Justin Dambinskas of the Citywide Vandals Task Force, who was previously the 104th Precinct graffiti coordinator.

“He was one of the best graffiti coordinators in our precinct,” Kotnik said, adding that there were over 450 vandalism arrests and 2,500 sites painted and cleaned on Dambinskas’ watch.

Dambinskas credits the local judiciary system and the keen eyes of the community with helping win the war against graffiti.

“The District Attorney and prosecution in this neighborhood is the best I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “We’ve got people jail time and restitution. People are afraid to actually tag in Queens because of what happens.”

Dambinskas also thanked community and civic groups such as G-COP for contributing to the success of the precinct’s anti-graffiti operations.

“We got involved because graffiti was out of hand back in the day,” Kotnik said.

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Blue wall of support at police vigil in Ridgewood


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

As part of National Police Week, the 104th Precinct held a special candlelight vigil on Wednesday night at the precinct’s Ridgewood stationhouse, with residents showing support and appreciation for officers and law enforcement.

Members of the 104th Police Precinct Community Council, the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) and neighborhood residents joined officers and precinct leaders in remembering and honoring the sacrifices police officers have made in the line of duty.

They paid special tribute to P.O. Brian Moore, the young 25-year-old officer who was shot and killed on May 2 while on patrol in Queens Village.

Capt. Gregory Mackie, the precinct’s executive officer, offered a prayer and reflection during the vigil: “Tonight, we remember our city and its police. Day in and day out they protect and serve the community and its property. On Friday, we said goodbye to a young police officer murdered in the prime of his life while doing his job. Officers like Detective Moore bring to life the biblical teaching, ‘Greater love has no man than this to lay down his life for his friends.'”

Deputy Chief Steven Silks also spoke about the dangers officers face on a daily basis.

“It’s not ever-present, but as recent events have shown, you could be in the busiest place or quietest place, and evil could end up on your doorstep. We have to be vigilant,” he said.

Silks commended NYPD officers in Manhattan who, earlier that morning, stopped a hammer-wielding attacker who struck a cop and was believed to have assaulted several pedestrians earlier in the week. The suspect was shot by the partner of the attacked officer and later charged.

“Who knows, if we didn’t get him today, how many more people he would have injured or killed,” he said.

Vigil attendees wore blue and held small blue votive candles and signs that read “Never Forgotten” as a show of support and appreciation for local officers. Capt. Mackie led the group in a moment of silence honoring Moore, as well as officers from the precinct who lost their lives while in the line of duty.

The officers thanked the community for their continued support. Silks explained that such outpouring acts as a much-needed morale boost for officers.

“Usually, people call us when things aren’t so good, so when someone actually says thank you and says something positive, it rings home,” he said. “The recognition when the community comes out like this goes a long, long way.”

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CB 5 committee considers stricter liquor license rules


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Bar and club owners seeking liquor licenses in Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village may soon need to show Community Board 5 more than just their business credentials.

Members of the Community Board 5 (CB 5) Public Safety Committee met Monday and considered a proposal that would require new applicants to complete a written form stating their intentions with regard to their businesses.

Christina Wilkinson, an active member of the COMET (Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together) and the Juniper Park Civic (JPCA) associations, proposed the idea to the committee. This measure was introduced in response to the recent influx of bars, pubs and nightspots to Ridgewood and Bushwick.

According to Wilkinson, community boards 1 and 4 in Brooklyn have already adopted this practice in response to the rapid growth and popularity of their respective neighborhoods.

“At one point, Greenpoint was in the same boat that we’re in. They didn’t think it was going to be all that bad, and it got bad,” Wilkinson said. “I think we should be better prepared. Let’s learn from them. It’s working for them.”

Public Safety Committee Chair Robert Holden expressed support for the idea and asked District Manager Gary Giordano to discuss the issue with the Executive Committee. “We’re just trying to get more information,” he explained.

Newly appointed board member Alex Maureau agreed. “It’s also a good way for the local owners to get to know us, and vice versa,” he said.

Giordano voiced support for a shorter version of the written form. “I think it has a lot of merit,” he said. “We could certainly work out something.”

According to Giordano, the board can grant recommendations for or against liquor licenses. The board also notifies the 104th Precinct and Lt. George Hellmer, the precinct’s special operations coordinator, of establishments with a prior history of problems. The precinct, in turn, will notify the board of any prior arrests, summonses or felonies committed at establishments seeking licensing.

“I never want to be in a position to be okaying liquor licenses,” Giordano said. “In some cases, we have taken votes at community board meetings related to certain establishments that have been a problem. But we comment to the negative and I would prefer it that way.”

Under the current policy, prospective bar owners seeking liquor licenses must notify CB 5 30 days prior to applying for licensing from the State Liquor Authority.

Holden proposed that the extra form, if approved of by the Executive Board, be made available to bar owners as a PDF document on the board’s website. The agreement would be signed and submitted to the community board prior to seeking State Liquor Authority licensing.

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit explained that he has adopted a “proactive instead of reactive” approach to new nightlife in the area. He said that he had personally visited five of Ridgewood’s newest bars, including The Monk and Onderdonk and Sons, in an effort to reach out to local bar owners.

Owners of each of the five establishments met with Sadler and other officers at a recent nightlife meeting hosted by the precinct. According to Sadler, all of the new bar owners and managers were made aware of the precinct’s regulations and guidelines, and all pledged respect and compliance.

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Precincts give crime updates at COMET meeting


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

The 108th Precinct’s commander raised concern over a rash of stolen vehicles and commercial burglaries in the Maspeth/Woodside area during the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) meeting held Monday in Elmhurst.

Captain John Travaglia said the number of cars being stolen in the neighborhoods has escalated, especially the older-model Dodge Caravans. According to Travaglia, at least four of these vehicles have been stolen within the confines of the 108th Precinct in the last 28 days.

“What we see a lot with that is, they’re easy to steal,” Travaglia said. “And then they’re easy to steal other things with because the seats will come out quick and maybe they’ll steal a motorcycle then, and throw the motorcycle in the back of that Dodge Caravan. So we’ve seen that type of activity going on in the precinct.”

The precinct has noticed an increase in commercial burglaries throughout the neighborhoods as well. The one burglary that was reported in the 28-day time frame from the 108th Precinct occurred at 70-32 Queens Blvd., where tools were stolen from off of a construction site.

“Construction sites, houses that are under construction are being burglarized for copper pipes [and] for tools,” Travaglia told those in attendance. “This has become a prevalent problem all over Queens.”

One major highlight for the 108th Precinct is the number of traffic fatalities that have occurred since November, which is zero.

“I can report the 108 Precinct [has] not had a traffic fatality since I’ve been there in November,” Travaglia announced. “It’s been fantastic. Year-to-date, we haven’t had a traffic fatality.”

Detective Thomas Bell from the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit also announced that the precinct is down in overall crime.

“Year-to-date, the 104 is down about 8.6 percent in crime,” Bell said. “We are down pretty much across the board.”

The 104th Precinct has seen two murders this year, compared to three at this time last year. There have been seven rapes compared to eight last year, 57 robberies compared to 62 last year. Felony assaults dropped to 63 this year from 69 last year, burglaries fell by just one, 110 versus 111 from 2014. Grand larcenies dropped from 198 last year to only 181 this year and grand larceny for automobiles dropped from 71 in 2014 to 57 this year.

P.O. David Saponieri from the 110th Precinct Community Affairs Unit also informed COMET about its crime numbers. There have only been six arrests during the 28-day period within COMET’s area of Elmhurst. There were two stolen cars, two grand larcenies and two burglaries.

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Cops and kids get rid of Maspeth graffiti


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Volunteers and officers from the 104th Precinct spent their Saturday afternoon wiping out graffiti during a cleanup event targeting several vandalized walls in Maspeth.

Capt. Mark Wachter, the precinct’s commander, and P.O. Gonzalez, the precinct’s graffiti coordinator, led the cleanup efforts.

Teens and young adults from the precinct’s NYPD Law Enforcement Explorers Program and School Unit joined police and auxiliary officers in painting over graffiti tags and murals along Rust Street near the Maspeth Industrial Business Zone (IBZ). Community members were encouraged to meet the officers at one of three locations to pitch in.

The community cleanup targeted factory and warehouse facades on Flushing Avenue and Rust Street, as well the concrete barrier along the railroad tracks on Rust Street and Grand Avenue. Officers also tackled a large mural on a brick wall at the corner of Grand Avenue and 58th Road.

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso
The paint and supplies were furnished through various donations, as well as through a coordinated effort with local civic group COMET (Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together).

For more information on reporting vandalism and future community cleanup events, visit the 104th Precinct Community Council at www.104PCC.org or follow the precinct on Twitter at @NYPD104Pct.

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Note-carrying crook robs bank in Ridgewood


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/photo by Nicholas Strini

Updated Tuesday, May 5, 10:15 a.m.

Detectives continue to search for a note-carrying thief who swiped money from a Ridgewood bank Monday morning, police reported.

According to authorities, the heist occurred at 10:30 a.m. inside the Popular Community Bank at 918 Seneca Ave. off Hancock Street.

Reportedly, the suspect — described as a black male in his 30s, standing 5 foot 9 inches tall with a medium build and medium complexion — approached a teller and handed over a note demanding cash.

photo courtesy of NYPD

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police said the employee complied with the request and provided the crook with $300 in currency; the perpetrator then fled in an unknown direction.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the incident; there were no injuries.

The bandit was last observed wearing a black and white striped shirt and a black baseball hat with the word “NETS” written on it.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Middle Village bank robber linked to four other local heists since 2012


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

photo courtesy of NYPD

The crook who successfully swiped cash from a Middle Village bank on Wednesday afternoon is also responsible for four heists in Brooklyn and Queens dating back to 2012, according to police.

Authorities said the perpetrator grabbed an unknown amount of cash from the Cross County Savings Bank at 80-10 Eliot Ave. at about 3:22 p.m. on Wednesday.

The bandit — described as a white male between 38 and 48 years old, standing between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing between 280 and 300 pounds — approached a teller and demanded money, according to police. After being provided with cash, he fled in an unknown direction.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the scene; there were no injuries.

Detectives determined the crook held up another bank — the Amalgamated Bank at 69-73 Grand Ave. in Maspeth — three separate times in the last three years.

The bandit reportedly first visited the branch on Aug. 4, 2012, and, while armed with a weapon, stolen a unknown amount of cash. He returned to the location unarmed twice more — on May 4, 2013, and Oct. 18, 2014 — and swiped various amounts of currency.

Police also linked the bandit to the July 19, 2013, armed robbery of a Sovereign Bank located at 4823 13th Ave. in Brooklyn.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Middle Village coyote caught


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD104Pct

Updated Wednesday, April 29, 12:36 p.m.

The wily coyote that ran amok through Middle Village Monday morning was safely caught Tuesday night, police announced.

The 104th Precinct posted a photo on its Twitter account at about 8:40 p.m. of the wild animal locked inside of a crate. The critter—which New York City Animal Care and Control (AC&C) later identified as a 4-year-old female—was caught in the area of Caldwell Avenue and 77th Place.

“He [sic] might have gotten away once but not today,” Capt. Mark Wachter, 104th Precinct commanding officer, said in the tweet Tuesday night.

Neighbors and police discovered the coyote sleeping in the front yard of a home on 71st Street across from Juniper Valley Park at about 10:30 a.m. Monday. When first responders moved in to tranquilize and trap the beast, the coyote darted off into the park and surrounding streets.

Police lost track of the coyote, which had been last seen Monday afternoon in the area of Juniper Boulevard South and 80th Street.

Officers and animal care experts were called to the 77th Place home at about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday night after a resident spotted the coyote in her backyard. The animal was successfully tranquilized, trapped and transferred into the custody of New York City Animal Care and Control for evaluation; the AC&C indicated the coyote has since been fitted with a tracking microchip.

Once deemed healthy, the coyote is expected to be released into the wild at a location far from the city.

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Coyote on the loose in Middle Village area


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

Updated 1:31 p.m.

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO AND ROBERT POZARYCKI

Police are looking to catch a coyote that was spotted in front of a Middle Village home Monday morning but suddenly took off into Juniper Valley Park when first responders moved in to nab the wild animal.

Reportedly, residents on 71st Street near Lutheran Avenue spotted the beast curled up in the front yard of a home at about 10:30 a.m.

Officers from the 104th Precinct and the NYPD Emergency Services Unit rushed to the location along with animal care experts. Police closed off 71st Street and Lutheran Avenue while first responders worked to tranquilize and trap the coyote.

But when the officers moved in on the animal, the coyote woke from its slumber and took off, darting across 71st Street into Juniper Valley Park, sources said. The creature was spotted running across the park and Juniper Boulevard North before police lost sight of it.

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD104Pct

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD104Pct

Moments later, officers rushed to the intersection of Caldwell Avenue and 77th Street after a neighbor reported seeing the coyote in a backyard. However, the coyote was gone by the time authorities arrived.

Currently, police continue to canvass the Middle Village area for the wily coyote. The 104th Precinct reported in an email that, as of 1:23 p.m., “there have been multiple calls into 911″ regarding coyote sightings in the Middle Village area. Reportedly, the wild animal was last seen on the south side of Juniper Valley Park.

Anyone who spots the animal is urged to call 911 immediately; under no circumstances should they approach the creature.

This is not the first time a coyote was spotted wandering through Queens. Last month, Long Island City residents and business owners observed one on the roof of a neighborhood bar before it wandered into the defunct Paragon Paint building.

On Saturday morning, police successfully trapped a coyote observed on the loose in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan.

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

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Crime drop tops 104th Precinct meeting in Ridgewood


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of 104th Precinct

BY ANGELA MATUA

Crime dropped across the 104th Precinct last month, but the precinct’s commander warned during Tuesday’s 104th Precinct Community Council meeting in Ridgewood about a “significant uptick” in identity theft and tire and rim thefts.

Capt. Mark Wachter told guests at the Peter Cardella Senior Citizens Center that major crimes fell by 8 percent in the last 28 days, but some residents reported scams including mail listing credit card charges that they did not make.

According to Wachter, the percentage of stolen cars is down. Burglaries are down 9 percent for the month and 6 percent for the year. Felony assaults are down 6 percent and robberies are down almost 10 percent.

There has also been an uptick in Glendale of tire and rim heists, specifically of 2014 Toyotas. Wachter suggested that residents put wheel locks on their cars. P.O. Eddie Collado of the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit has been knocking on doors to warn residents of the recent thefts.

Wachter also mentioned that the anti-crime unit took a gun off the street in Ridgewood a few hours before the meeting.

The new commander, who took the helm in March for now-Deputy Inspector Christopher Manson, said he is settling into the job and would like to hear feedback from the community about any problems they would like the precinct to alleviate.

“I enjoy being here,” Wachter said. “It’s a great place to work. It’s going to take me time to meet and greet everybody but it’s something I want to do.”

At the end of the night, Wachter awarded four officers with Cop of the Month honors.

Officers David Babayev, Edwin Diaz, Amaruy Gomez and Brian Abbondandelo responded to a home invasion on March 16.

At 8:30 a.m. that day, a New Hampshire man, who was allegedly under the influence of drugs, shot rounds of gunfire in Maspeth. The suspect and another man pulled out of the Long Island Expressway and onto 56th Avenue and 61st Street. He then exited his car and shot a round into the street.

The suspect then forced himself into a woman’s home as she opened the door to leave her house. The officers, who entered the two-family walk-up to remove the suspect, were met with one round of gunfire.

Officers Babayev, Diaz, Gomez and Abbondandelo were able to coax the suspect out without firing shots. The homeowner, who was still in the house during this altercation, was uninjured.

Wachter commended them for the “tremendous amount of restraint” they showed when capturing the suspect.

“This easily could’ve turned into a tragedy for us, for the person involved, for the innocent parties inside the house,” Wachter said. “We’re honoring these officers for their professionalism, their restraint that they showed, their common sense [and] their bravery.”

The captain presented Babayev, Diaz and Abbondandelo with plaques donated by the Times Newsweekly; Gomez was not present to receive his award.

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Pair repeatedly stabs pedestrian in Ridgewood


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

While walking home from a nearby bar, a 27-year-old man was stabbed numerous times by two unidentified attackers on a Ridgewood street early Sunday morning, according to police.

Authorities said the brutal assault occurred at 2:30 a.m. at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Bleecker Street.

Moments earlier, the victim left the Paradise Bar at 678 Woodward Ave. and was walking northbound on Woodward Avenue when he approached two Hispanic males ahead of him, police sources said.

As he approached them, the two men engaged the victim in a verbal dispute, sources said. Within seconds, the argument turned physical when the suspects repeatedly stabbed the man about the chest and back.

Officers from the 104th Precinct and EMS units rushed to the scene after receiving a 911 call regarding the incident. Police found the man with stab wounds to his right torso, stomach, back and left thigh.

Paramedics rushed the victim to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The 104th Precinct Detective Squad is investigating the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Man found dead in vehicle parked on Middle Village street


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

A 25-year-old Middle Village man was found dead inside a parked vehicle in his neighborhood Friday morning, according to police.

Officers responding to a call of an unconscious male inside a parked car at 8:50 a.m. discovered the man, identified as James Hanrahan, in the vehicle, which was located on 77th Street near Penelope Avenue in Middle Village, authorities said.

EMS units pronounced Hanrahan dead at the scene.

No signs of trauma to the body were found. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is currently ongoing, officials said.

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Alleged Maspeth pizzeria, Ridgewood drugstore burglars picked up by cops


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/Christopher Bride

Detectives delivered two suspected burglars to jail for allegedly breaking into a Maspeth pizzeria and a Ridgewood drugstore last month, authorities said.

According to the Queens district attorney’s office, Bushwick’s Charles Viacava, 48, and Jamaica’s Pedro Alicea, 43, were allegedly caught on security camera video burglarizing Pronto Pizza located at 52-03 Metropolitan Ave. on the evening of March 24 and the Rite-Med Pharmacy at 311 St. Nicholas Ave. on the night of March 31.

During the pizzeria burglary, Viacava and Alicea allegedly threw a brick through a glass window and removed the cash register, police said.

Authorities said the suspects did the same thing at the Rite-Med store, smashing a front window with a brick before getting inside and then ultimately stealing a cash register.

Following an investigation, the 104th Precinct Detective Squad tracked down Viacava and Alicea and, after questioning, took them into custody on Saturday. They were both charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and two counts of criminal mischief.

Both suspects were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Sunday morning before Judge William Harrington, who set Viacava’s bail at $35,000 and ordered Alicea held on $25,000 bail. The alleged burglars are due back in court on April 13.

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Pair sought in Queens police impersonation robberies


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A phony cop is stopping people on the streets of Queens before robbing them and jumping into a getaway car, authorities said.

Police have released video footage of the fake officer in the act and say he has robbed six separate victims between October and March in Middle Village, Woodside, Elmhurst and Corona.

All of the victims were traveling on foot when they were stopped by the suspect described as Hispanic or white, about 30 to 40 years old and with a heavy build, authorities said. He then searched the victim and removed property from them before fleeing with a second suspect who was waiting in a black Lincoln Town Car or dark van, police said.

The two suspects are wanted in the following incidents:

  • On Oct. 29, at about 1:30 a.m., at the corner of 82nd Street and Furmanville Avenue, $80 was taken from a 21-year-old man.
  • On Nov. 27, at about 1:30 a.m., at the corner of James Avenue and 88th Street, a 40-year-old man’s wallet containing a debit card was taken.
  • On Dec. 11, at about 12:50 a.m. in front of 39-66 65th St., a 39-year-old man’s wallet containing $17 was taken.
  • On Feb. 14, at about 4:45 a.m. in front of 102-26 45th Ave., a 37-year-old man’s wallet containing a debit card and a cellphone were taken.
  • On Feb. 26, at about 12:30 a.m. in front of 49-07 103rd St., a 33-year-old man’s wallet containing $650 and debit and credit cards were taken.
  • On March 15, at about 5:30 a.m. at the corner of 102nd Street and 45th Avenue, a 45-year-old man’s wallet containing $480 was taken.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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