Tag Archives: 106th Precinct

106th Precinct has major crime drop this month


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

The 106th Precinct had the largest crime drop of any precinct in the city during the last four-week period, the precinct commander told The Courier.

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff said the 106th Precinct had a 32.3 percent drop in serious crime from Sept. 29 to Oct. 26 compared to the same period in 2013.

Schiff said the nearly one-third decrease came about through better interaction with the community.

“By keeping the community informed, residents are in a better position to help out the police,” Schiff said. “My cops have been working hard and it shows.”

Overall, major crime fell from 164 incidents to 111 during the period and the precinct’s most persistent plague, auto theft, was nearly cut in half, from 29 car thefts in 2013 to 15 for the same period this year.

Robberies tumbled from 34 to 24, burglaries fell from 23 to 15 and felony assaults dropped from 21 to 16. The largest drop in any category was in grand larceny, from 55 to 38.

“We’ve changed up our strategies on the ways to attack these types of crimes,” Schiff said. “And it seems to be working.”

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Police honored at Jamaica Rotary Club meeting


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Salvatore Licata

It is not often that police officers get the recognition that they deserve, according to the president of a local civic group who organizes awards for outstanding cops.

Joe Iaboni, president of the Jamaica Rotary Club,  holds a monthly meeting to honor the cops who keep the communities of southern Queens safe.

“We are very proud to have you [the police] protecting our communities the way they do,” Iaboni said. “You all show great commitment and dedication. Your names are synonymous with the word ‘hero.’”

Police officers from the 102nd, 103rd 106th and 113th precincts were honored at the meeting on Wednesday.  Each precinct honored officers who showed outstanding work during the months of August and September and helped to keep the community they patrol safe.

“This is a great occasion where I get to honor the men and women that I am so proud to lead,” said Assistant Chief David Barrere, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South. “They all do tremendous work for our community.”

Detective Adam Gray and Sgt. Derrick Milligan were honored for their work in a robbery in progress where they arrest the criminal and secured a  25 automatic firearm. (From left: Joe Iaboni, Executive Officer Rod Dantini, Detective Adam Gray, Sgt. Derrick Milligan and Commanding Officer of Queens south, David Barrere)

Detective Adam Gray and Sgt. Derrick Milligan were honored for their work in a robbery in progress where they arrest the criminal and secured a 25 automatic firearm. (From left: Joe Iaboni, Executive Officer Rod Dantini, Detective Adam Gray, Sgt. Derrick Milligan and Commanding Officer of Queens south, David Barrere)

P.O. David Gomez and P.O. Andres Gonzalez of the 106th Precinct were honored for their work in catching a car thief in progress with 77 prior arrests. (From left: Joe Iaboni, P.O. Andres Gomez, P.O. David Gomez, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff and Commanding Officer of Queens South David Barrere)

P.O. David Gomez and P.O. Andres Gonzalez of the 106th Precinct were honored for their work in catching a car thief in progress with 77 prior arrests. (From left: Joe Iaboni, P.O. Andres Gomez, P.O. David Gomez, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff and Commanding Officer of Queens South David Barrere)

Sgt. Mary Humburg and P.O. Steven Perretta from the 103th Precinct were honored for their outstanding work of arresting a criminal with a semi-automatic handgun back in August. (From left: Joe Iaboni, Deputy Inspector John Capplemann, Sgt. Mary Humburg, her son, P.O. Steven Perretta and Commanding Officer of Queens South, David Barrere)

Sgt. Mary Humburg and P.O. Steven Perretta from the 103th Precinct were honored for their outstanding work of arresting a criminal with a semi-automatic handgun back in August. (From left: Joe Iaboni, Deputy Inspector John Capplemann, Sgt. Mary Humburg, her son, P.O. Steven Perretta and Commanding Officer of Queens South, David Barrere)

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‘Recidivist’ car thief caught by 106th Precinct


| slicata@queenscourier.com

HANDCUFFS 2

An auto theft “recidivist” was arrested for grand larceny auto by cops from the 106th Precinct on Monday, police said, their second major arrest of an alleged car thief in the last month.

Richard Hobbs, 27, of Lindenwood, was caught behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle early Monday morning by plainclothes officers, cops said.

He was connected to the theft of two other vehicles just two weeks prior to this arrest, according to police.

Furthermore, cops were able to link Hobbs to four car break-ins in Howard Beach, police said.

In July, the cops from the 106th Precinct arrested a teenager in Howard Beach for breaking into vehicles throughout the neighborhood. At the time of the arrest, the alleged thief had property from at least five other cars, according to police.

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, has been out-spoken at community meetings, giving tips to residents on ways to keep their cars and property safe.

After the arrest of what he called the “auto-theft/car-break-in recidivist,” Schiff tweeted gleefully, “Let’s hope he goes away 4 a long while!”

After the two arrests, area residents are hopeful the worst is behind them.

“It is my hope that the arrests will help slow down these types of crimes in our community,” Joanne Ariola, a resident of Howard Beach, said.

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Howard Beach residents to start neighborhood watch group


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image Courtesy of Joe Thompson

BY SALVATORE LICATA

Howard Beach is hoping to add a few more sets of eyes and ears to its streets in hopes of preventing crime.

The Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol, is a soon-to-be nonprofit group of residents that will be keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood. In an effort to keep crime down, volunteers of the group will patrol the neighborhood and report to the police any suspicious activity that may be going on.

“Howard Beach residents are screaming for assistance,” Joe Thompson, president and founder of the organization, said. “We are going to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood and it is up to us as a community to report any crimes.”

Thompson said he decided to start the patrol group after hearing resident’s concerns at community meetings.

Crime is down slightly so far this year in the 106th Precinct, but a recent rash of burglaries in Howard Beach set off fears in the community.

Thompson has over 30 years of experience in community watch groups and was an auxiliary police officer for 10 years. He said he hopes this group will help to prevent crime from happening but also noted that his patrol units will take no physical action if they see suspicious activity.

“We will have uniforms but no weapons at all,” Thompson said. “We will not take any action against criminals, our job is to just report what we see to the police. We don’t want to be seen as vigilantes.”

Thompson said he has met with the 106th Precinct and government officials and has their okay to go along with the program as long as the group goes through the proper training and follows the guidelines of community watch groups, as stated by the community affairs office of the NYPD.

“We are always looking for people to get involved,” said Kenneth Zorn, the community affairs officer for the 106th Precinct. “It is a large commitment but these people volunteer their time to help improve the quality of life for the community.”

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo also offered his support to Thompson – but not without some concern.

“We must make it very clear that volunteers must go through the proper training before they patrol,” Addabbo said. “But if it is done correctly it is a positive community program.”

The Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol will hold their first meeting/recruitment session on June 24 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Helen’s School at 157-10 83rd St.

Thompson hopes to gain support for his initiative with other residents at the meeting.

For more information follow Thompson via Twitter @HowardBeachCOP.

 

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106th Precinct to use Twitter to address noise complaints


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via @NYPD106Pct

Updated on June 17, 2 p.m.

 SALVATORE LICATA and PAULINA TAM

The 106th Precinct is taking to Twitter to stop noise from trending.

The precinct commander, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, said at Wednesday’s Precinct Community Council meeting that he is launching a special initiative this weekend where local residents can report noise complaints via Twitter to @NYPD106PCT.

“If you have a noise complaint, report it on Twitter, with the address, and we will hopefully be there within minutes,” Schiff said.

He said noise complaints in the area have been “extreme.”

Schiff used a similar tactic earlier this week when he asked residents to tweet a picture and location of a particular type of graffiti to add charges to the tagger he had in custody.

The noise complaint strategy went  from June 13 through June 15 and three residents can tweeted out their noise complaint issue, according to a spokesman for the 106th precinct.

“We are tired of telling people to lower their music and then once we leave it goes back up,” Schiff said.

They responded to 31 noise complaints and issued 20 summonses, a spokesman for the 106th precinct said.

The investigation was part of Operation Silent Night, an operation  by the 106th precinct that explored noise complaints tweeted by concerned citizens.

“We’re not killjoys but we’re out there doing what needs to be done,” the spokesman said.

 

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Cops looking for suspects in South Ozone Park robbery, assault


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

A 49 year-old man was robbed and assaulted in front of a deli in South Ozone Park earlier this month, according to police.

One of the suspects took $400 and a cell phone from the man at about 2:05 a.m. on May 5, before three other suspects attacked the victim, leaving him with minor injuries to his face and head, cops said. The robbery and assault happened on Rockaway Boulevard near 134th Street.

Police have released a photo of the first suspect and describe all of the suspects as men between the ages of 18 and 25.

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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South Queens cops host domestic violence seminar


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Despite the fact that incidents of domestic violence have increased by more than 50 percent in the 106th Precinct in the past year, police still say victims are underreporting the crimes.

Citywide last year, the NYPD responded to more than 240,000 calls of domestic violence, said Sergeant Noreen Lazarus.

“But there are still so many occurrences and incidents that are not being reported,” she added.

The 106th Precinct joined the 102 on Thursday to conduct a domestic violence seminar as part of a series of community outreach initiatives intended to ultimately help decrease the crime.

A very diverse population makes up south Queens, cops said, and Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, 102nd Precinct Commanding Officer, said local police are “trying to break down that cultural barrier” so anyone can feel comfortable reporting an incident.

“We’re not interested in your immigration status. What we care about is you,” said Sergeant Diane Silverstein.

Alexandra Patino from the Family Justice Center of Queens said more than half of her clientele is “foreign born.” She works with them regarding child and/or spousal support, helping to separate domestic violence victims from dangerous situations.

“Some are tied to people out of fear of deportation. We don’t want people to continue to be victimized out of fear of deportation,” she said.

Patino and the Family Justice Center can also help victims in getting their green cards.

In the coming weeks, the precincts will be continuing to spread domestic violence awareness by visiting local schools, PTA meetings, men’s groups and more.

“We understand the situation can become very emotional,” Silverstein said. “We are about everybody being safe and everybody obeying the law.”

 

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Local precincts hosting seminar to combat 53 percent increase in domestic violence crimes


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Domestic violence crimes have increased over 50 percent in south Queens and cops are reaching out to bring awareness to the community.

“There are laws we obey. There is a population out there that you cannot prey upon, including your family,” said Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding office of the 106th Precinct.

The precinct is teaming up with the neighboring 102nd Precinct to host a seminar on domestic violence awareness on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fair Field Pavilion, 131-10 101st Ave. in Richmond Hill.

The seminar is “open to anybody who wants to come,” Schiff said, and will feature guest speakers from the district attorney’s office, mayor’s office, social workers and psychologists.

The 2013 year-end statistics showed a 53 percent increase in domestic violence assaults in the 106th Precinct, Schiff said.

The NYPD expanded the definition of domestic violence to include all couples, spousal or not, as well as long-term roommates.

“The definition has expanded, so have the crimes,” Schiff said. “That contributes to the increase.”

During the seminar and also through efforts to curtail the crime, police will educate victims, mainly women and children, and detail how they respond to domestic violence reports, including the initial response and possible remedies for the situation.

Cops will also seek out aggressors and “educate them.”

“We want them to know this is what can happen to you should you lay hands on your family,” Schiff said.

 

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New south Queens police initiative set to combat car break-ins


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

A new police initiative has hit the streets to combat car break-ins, and cops want residents to know if they can spot a loose item in your car, a criminal can as well.

Spot it to Secure it, a program launched last week by the 106th Precinct’s Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, targets areas in which car break-ins were heavily reported.

“It’s a crime opportunity,” said Officer Gary Maher, the program’s coordinator and crime prevention officer. “It’s not like [thieves] went out to rob a specific car, but then they see something valuable.”

Through the initiative, if cops see loose items in parked cars, they track the vehicle’s owner and either visit the person’s home or send them a letter detailing the issue—if they can spot it, you need to secure it.

The program’s team is first combing through Ozone Park, west of 100th Street. Since starting patrols on Jan. 29, cops have discovered about 25 cars with valuables loose, according to Detective Kenny Zorn.

“It’s amazing what people leave in their cars,” Zorn said. “Open purses, credit cards, wallets, GPS, change. No matter where you live, crime is going to happen, and you need to keep your stuff secure.”

Area residents frequently come to the precinct with complaints of car break-ins; some crimes are reported and others are not. Police continue to urge drivers to report all incidents to give them an accurate depiction of where break-ins happen.

Cops additionally see the program as a way to enhance community policing.

“Unfortunately, sometimes we show up for something negative,” Zorn said. “With this we’re getting positive feedback. It’s thinking outside of the box. Simple things can go a long way.”

 

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Car thefts spike in south Queens: 21 stolen in 28 days


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam LaGuerre

Car thefts in south Queens are up nearly double what they were at this time last year.

The 106th Precinct reported on Sunday that 21 car thefts had hit the region in the prior 28 days, up from just 12 last year.

Twenty of those thefts happened just north of the Belt Parkway within a block or two, including on Cross Bay Boulevard, Liberty Avenue, Rockaway Parkway, Lefferts Boulevard and North Conduit Avenue.

“It is quite clear these car thieves are very mindful of their escape route with an obvious emphasis on a quick escape route out of the area,” said the precinct report.

Seven of the thefts occurred after the victims left their keys in the ignition, with the car unattended. The precinct said this happened when drivers wanted to warm up their cars in the cold weather or while unloading packages.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the 106th Precinct.

 

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Police discover alleged chop shop operation at South Ozone Park home


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

VAN-2-540x405

Police stripped a South Ozone Park home of auto parts on Monday after discovering an alleged chop shop operation at the residence.

Todd Archer, 30, and his girlfriend Tiffany Evans, 21, were arrested after cops found stripped vans, vehicle parts and tools at the 134th Street home.

Local resident Ian Kusinitz rents out vehicles and installed GPS monitors on each van and car. One of his vans was stolen, and he tracked it to Archer’s home. He then spotted some of his van’s parts on the side of the house, according to a police source.

Kusinitz called the cops, who responded to the scene on Monday, January 13. Officers were let into the home by Evans. Inside and around the house they found a variety of auto parts, including headlights, doors, center consoles, benches and more.

Cops also discovered over 100 bullets, said the source.

Officials additionally recovered three old model vans with newer parts.

Archer’s backyard, where he allegedly works on the vehicles, can be seen from neighboring houses, but cops never received a noise complaint or anonymous tip.

After tracing the origin of auto parts, cops discovered they came from all over the borough, including the 111th, 102nd, 107th and 106th Precincts. Once vans were stripped, Archer allegedly dumped them around the neighborhood.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

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South Queens officer honored for arresting suspect in cop beating


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Just shy of one month after an off-duty cop was beaten nearly to death, Officer Vincent Siraco of the 106th Precinct was honored for nabbing his fellow cop’s attacker.

Sergeant Mohammed Dean took a brutal beating in Ozone Park on Nov. 17 that left him unconscious. As police pulled up to the scene on Liberty Avenue around 4:40 a.m., the perpetrator fled.

Siraco and his sergeant chased the beater down 118th Avenue and apprehended him “with no incident, no injuries to any police officers,” said John Ganley, the precinct’s executive officer.

Ganley called the arrest a “right place, right time” situation, and that at the time, they did not know it was a cop, they knew “it’s an individual getting beaten down into the street.”

Siraco and the precinct’s Midnight Conditions Team, which takes nighttime patrols, were in the area after discovering a robbery pattern around Liberty Avenue’s bars and nightclubs.

“The community is very fortunate to have an individual like this on patrol, especially at night,” Ganley said.

Siraco started at the 106th Precinct in June and has been with the NYPD for two and a half years. Ganley said he has an “impressive record for a short time on the job,” including 25 felony arrests.

“In a very short time, he has established himself as an integral part of our patrol force,” he said.

 

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106th Precinct gets backup


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office Of Councilmember Eric Ulrich

Backup is here, as the 106th Precinct added 16 new cops recently.

“They are a most welcomed addition to the community and we are very happy to have them,” said Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, the precinct’s Commanding Officer.

The precinct, which encompasses Ozone Park, Lindenwood and Howard Beach, has experienced an increase in car thefts and break-ins, which are up more than 65 percent from last year, according to the most recent NYPD crime statistics. Crime overall is up 20 percent.

However, the experienced new officers are ready to hit the ground running. Schiff said during their precinct orientation. They will be addressed by various community members and hear firsthand what concerns they have.

“We expect that they will quickly absorb the local flavor and perform admirably, making all of us proud,” he said.

The community and local elected officials have voiced both a need and a desire for more resources for the precinct. The NYPD team has struggled with limited resources and increasing concerns from residents, said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, who assisted in the push.

“More officers and a stronger police presence are necessary to combat rising crime statistics,” Goldfeder said. “More visibility on our streets will keep the community safe and strong.”

Additionally, Councilmember Eric Ulrich paid a visit to the new crew and is “so pleased that we are finally getting additional officers that we have been fighting for for so long,” he said.

“They will to a long way in keeping our community safe,” he added.

 

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Residents claim rash of car break-ins along Howard Beach block


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Lock your doors – residents of one Howard Beach block fear car break-ins are becoming the norm.

Rita Pristina’s Mercedes has been broken into three times since July outside her 90th Street home. After the third time, she installed a metal pole that retracts in and out of the ground, keeping the car secure in her driveway.

“This is the way we have to live, which is terrible,” she said.

During the third incident, just two weeks ago, Pristina’s car alarm woke her up around 1:30 a.m. She opened her bedroom window and claims she saw a tall man wearing all black inside her car. She yelled and said “get away from the car,” and the thief allegedly fled.

Fortunately, all they took was the car’s “push to start” button.

After installing the metal pole, Pristina additionally installed a camera system outside her home.

“I feel horrible that I’m the one that has to live behind bars,” she said. “We happen to be honest, tax-paying people, but we’re the ones that feel like we’re incarcerated.”

Pristina’s next door neighbor, Mary Ellen Krowicki, has also run into similar problems.

Her Lexus was broken into, as well as her daughter’s boyfriend’s Mitsubishi, both of which were parked street-side outside her home. Quarters that Krowicki uses for parking meters were taken, and other things were thrown around the car.

“I’ve lived here 34 years and never had a problem,” Krowicki said.

The pair took their concerns to the 106th Precinct Community Council’s October meeting. They both had never reported the incidents, with the exception of Pristina’s third break-in, because they assumed they were “petty” crimes.

However, the precinct’s new Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, said that no matter how small the crime, always report it. That way, precinct officers can pinpoint a potentially problematic area and keep watch on crime-prone blocks.

“Now that it’s going on, no matter what, report it,” Krowicki said. “They have to report it so we can get the help we need.”

 

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Police searching for suspect in string of south Queens bank robberies


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy NYPD

Police are looking for a man in connection with a string of bank robberies yesterday in South Richmond Hill and Jamaica.

The incidents culminated with a robbery of Astoria Federal Savings Bank on 179-25 Hillside Avenue at about 10:20 a.m. The suspect entered the bank and passed a note to the teller demanding money, cops said. The teller handed him $3,300 and the man fled.

Before that incident police said the man also attempted to rob a Chase Bank on 103-48 Lefferts Blvd at about 9:14 and a Citi Bank on 121-11 Liberty Avenue a few minutes later using a similar method, but the tellers didn’t comply in either situation.

The suspect is described as a black male between 20-30 years old, about six feet tall and 185-200 pounds, authorities said. He was seen wearing black sunglasses, a tan shirt and a black lumberjack style hat in the Chase robbery. Then during the Citi Bank robbery incident he was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, black lumberjack hat, black shoes and blue jeans.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

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