Tag Archives: 106th Precinct

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.




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.”



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.





New 106th Precinct Commanding Officer plans to tackle tough issues

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff knows he came to lead the 106th Precinct for a reason, and he’s ready to get to work.

“I think I’ll be an asset here. My abilities lend it,” said the new Commanding Officer. “I worked well with my old community, and that’s always a big thing on the Police Commissioner’s agenda.”

Schiff, 46, started as head of the precinct on September 26 after Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, who held the top spot for three years, was transferred to a new assignment at Patrol Borough Brooklyn South.

The 17-year NYPD veteran sees a number of “trends” he plans to address during his time in the 106, which serves south central Queens, he said.

Community involvement and working with residents he hopes will create a mutually beneficial relationship between the precinct and the neighborhoods. He and his team have been and plan on attending various community meetings and establishing connections to ultimately reduce crime.

As the previous Commanding Officer of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, Schiff said he was able to reduce crime through specific initiatives, one of those being what he called the “Spot-it-to-Secure-it Initiative.”

Spot-it-to-Secure-it will involve “putting a cop on foot” to identify any visible valuables in parked cars, he said.

If this is the case, the officer will notify the car’s owner, because “if we can spot it, so can thieves,” Schiff said.

He said to further the initiative, cops could also be on the lookout for any windows accidentally left open or any part of a home that could make it vulnerable to break-ins.

Schiff knows that noise and parties on private properties can sometimes pose a problem in the area, so he plans on educating all party throwers and goers with what permits are needed and what noise level is permitted, and also punishing any repeat offenders.

He is aware of the area’s “big bar presence” and wants to monitor any bar or club patrons once they leave the location and also keep tabs on the illegal consumption of alcohol by minors.

Also, Schiff plans to monitor pawn shops around Resorts World Casino, gang-related issues in specific sections of the precinct and crime committed by youth, typically in certain corridors.

He also wants to educate homeowners on blocked driveway incidents.

Schiff’s concrete plans come from years of experience as Commanding Officer of the 76th Precinct in Carroll Gardens and over three years in the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush.

“Now what we’re doing is involving the community,” he said. “In order for [them] to help the precinct out, they have to know what’s going on. They have to know who we’re looking at.”




UPDATE: Missing 13-year-old Howard Beach boy found at train station

| mhayes@queenscourier.com


A 13-year-old initially thought to have possibly been kidnapped was found just trying to go to the beach.

Griffin Dreger, who was thought to be missing Friday morning, was found at the at the Jamaica LIRR station the same day around 3 p.m., unharmed. Police said he was trying to buy a train ticket to Montauk Point.

This morning at about 6:40 a.m., Dreger went to take out the trash, just as he does every morning outside his Howard Beach co-op. After a few minutes, Dreger’s stepfather, Juan Palacios, went outside to find him, only to realize he wasn’t there.

“I just started screaming his name,” Palacios said. “I thought he got kidnapped.”

Palacios and his wife called police, and a search ensued. His wife spent a portion of the day with detectives while family and friends placed “missing” flyers around their Lindenwood neighborhood.

After the initial missing report, over a dozen cops, at least a dozen detectives, three police dogs and helicopters were sent out to find the missing boy, according to a police source.

As the facts came in, police started to look at the case “more as a runaway” and not as an “abduction,” the source said.

“Initially . . . we started thinking maybe there is a chance [of kidnapping], but now most of the facts are pointing to a runaway,” said the law enforcement source.

Palacios’ mother said “he’s a good kid, he wouldn’t run away.”

“He’s a good kid,” echoed neighbor Annmarie Hegarty. “He doesn’t roam the boulevard. I always ask, ‘Where’s Griffin?’ They say he’s upstairs studying.”

Palacios said last night Dreger wanted him, his stepfather and mother to all “play hooky” and spend the day together.

A video camera near the dumpster caught Dreger this morning “jogging” to the trashcan, throwing in the bag and then “jogging” away. Police said there was no urgency in how he was moving, Palacios said.

“We’re hoping he’s playing hooky,” he said. “I hope he comes back. I hope he’s alright.”




Man fatally stabbed in South Ozone Park

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

A 19-year-old was stabbed to death on Linden Boulevard Friday night.

Police responded to a 9-1-1 call around 9 p.m. on Linden Boulevard, where they found Danthony McDonald with a stab wound to the chest.

EMS transported McDonald, who lived nearby, to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

No arrests have been made at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.

Queens officers win Cop of the Month awards

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

The Jamaica Rotary Club honored police officers of Patrol Borough Queens South on Wednesday, May 30 with Cop of the Month Awards.

Officers Jose Vasquezmiranda and Matthew Lewis of the 113th Precinct were recognized for a May 14 arrest that led to the recovery of a loaded .25-caliber handgun.

Officer Jennifer Martinez of the 106th Precinct was cited for arresting a 17-year-old suspect wanted in connection with the sexual assault of a 15-yearold girl. The suspect was later charged with firstdegree rape.

Officers Corey Harris and Eugene Hunter of the 102nd Precinct won awards for helping track down a stolen iPhone. Pursuit of the suspect eventually ran into East New York, Brooklyn.

Sergeant Mary Humburg and police officer Charles Lovett of the 103rd Precinct were recognized for the April 10 arrest of four men trying to break into a house. The suspects had a total of 40 previous arrests between them.



Officer honored for drug, gun bust

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Police Officer Frank Calafiore was honored as the 106th Precinct Community Council’s May Cop of the Month.

Calafiore, part of the anti-crime unit, was cited for the April 11 arrest of a suspect and for recovering narcotics and a loaded firearm.

The suspect, 18, followed a woman to her South Ozone Park home and pointed a gun at her, according to Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale.

Calafiore and other officers from the unit then followed the suspect into a nearby home. Inside, police found five people, Pascale said, and detained them while cops searched the house. A loaded 9-mm. gun and marijuana were recovered. Calafiore then obtained a search warrant and recovered 200 Xanax pills.




Rape suspect caught after jumping subway turnstile

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

A Queens man wanted for an August rape was apprehended after he was arrested for subway fare evasion, said police.

Tuesday afternoon an officer observed Kenny Campbell, a 30-year-old  Jamaica resident, jumping the turnstile at the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer subway station, and immediately placed him under arrest.

Afterwards, authorities discovered that he was suspected in a rape that took place in south central Queens.

During the crime Campbell allegedly broke into the victim’s home, strangled her with an electrical cord and raped her.

Campbell has been charged for both the rape and theft of service for jumping the turnstile.




Racino robber faces 25 years

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Resorts World

Prosecutors did their own snatch and grab.

The suspect nabbed for robbing Resorts World Casino New York City in late June waived his extradition rights on Wednesday, August 1, and will be moved to Queens from Monroe County, Pennsylvania, officials said.

Kevin Lides, 23, of Briarwood, had been named as the culprit by the district attorney’s office after the note he passed to a teller — demanding cash and threatening the teller’s life — was found to have his fingerprints. There was also surveillance video placing the suspect in the casino at the time of the robbery.

For security reasons, it has not been announced when Lides will be moved back to Queens, officials said.

Should Lides be convicted for taking around $63,000 in cash from the casino, he could face up to 25 years in prison, according to the DA’s office.

The arrest was applauded by local politicians and Resorts World officials, highlighting the Racino’s surveillance system and its cooperation with the 106th Precinct as pivotal to Lides’ capture.

“This arrest proves that our surveillance system is working,” said Resorts World spokesperson Stefan Friedman. “Through close collaboration with the NYPD and the information revealed on our state-of-the-art on-site surveillance technology, we were able to assist the police in apprehending the suspect.”

“I believe that the safety and security of the visitors to Resorts World should always be a high priority,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who pushed for better security in the wake of the robbery. “I appreciate all the efforts of law enforcement involved in this arrest; I am most grateful and proud of the work done by our 106th Precinct and its detectives.”

Cars, TVs being stolen in south Queens

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Police from the 106th Precinct are warning residents of Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Wakefield to be on the look for robbers who have been entering through windows of the first floor of homes.

When the robbers enter, usually through open windows, police said, they will take car keys and then steal the resident’s car. In other instances, the thieves have taken TVs from homes, police said.

The robberies began on Monday, August 6. Police encourage residents to lock the windows of their home’s first floor, and safely store car keys.

Anyone who has been a victim of these robberies, or has information on the thieves, are encouraged to call the precinct’s detective squad at 718-845-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.


New cops join 106th

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The Courier/Photo by Alexa Altman

Following numerous requests from residents and officials for more police officers, the 106th Precinct has added 15 members to its expanded force.

The additional officers were introduced to the public at the precinct’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 9 by Captain Thomas Pascale.

Senator Joseph Addabbo welcomed the cops during the meeting, congratulating Pascale on the new additions and thanking him for keeping the neighborhood safe.

Regardless of the inclusion, Addabbo surmises the area continuously requires extra police.

“While I’ll always be grateful for [additional] cops, I’ll always advocate for more,” said Addabbo.

According to Addabbo, the 106th Precinct loses officers every summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, to reassignments in the Rockaways.
Anticipating the area’s first summer following the opening of Resorts World Casino New York, four additional officers will be designated to the entertainment facility during the weekends.

Addabbo feels there has not necessarily been a recent spike in crime, contrary to recent published reports. He added that area police deal mainly with grand larcenies and burglaries, rather than major, violent crimes.

“We should never just react to spikes in crime. We should prevent them,” said Addabbo. “Local residents want to see a patrol car come down their block. They want to see a presence.”

According to CompStat, the number of grand larcenies in the 106th Precinct over the past year has increased by 35.2 percent.
Community Council president Frank Dardani, who advocated for more officers on behalf of local residents, claims the request for additional police is an ongoing occurrence in the 106th Precinct.

According to Dardani, the extra cops come from impact precincts – ones with high numbers of gun-related and violent crimes – and have been on the job for several years. Dardani said that rookie officers are often sent to work these neighborhoods to dissipate crime by flooding them with an obvious police presence. In Queens, the 101st, 103rd and 113th Precincts are impacts, Dardani said.

He feels the opening of Resorts World should have earned the area between 45 and 50 additional officers.

Dardani believes the entire city is in need of an expanded police presence, claiming that New York has been down roughly 8,000 officers since Rudy Giuliani was mayor. He also alleged that more officers are retiring than are joining the force.

According to 106th Precinct Community Affairs Officer Kenny Zorn, the new officers began patrolling the area last week.

“It’s just good to have more people,” said Zorn. “They made it better than it was.”

New cops join 106th precinct

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Fresh out of the academy, 15 newly minted police officers joined the 106th Precinct. The rookie rangers were introduced to the public at the precinct’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 9 by Captain Thomas Pascale. On hand to welcome the recruits was Senator Joseph Addabbo who congratulated Pascale for obtaining extra law enforcement officials. According to Addabbo, the tourist traffic at Resorts World Casino and the relocation of cops to the Rockaways during the summer caused the precinct to garner more assistance.

Lindenwood Alliance tackles DOT, DOE issues

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The March meeting of the Lindenwood Alliance featured a special dedication to Thomas Pascale, captain of the 106th Precinct.

“From the beginning, he has been supportive of our civic community,” said Lindenwood Alliance co-founder and president, Christina Gold. “He’s someone in a position of leadership who has been in support of this group. He has come to the majority of our meetings, which usually the captains do not. We wanted to show our appreciation for him.”

Gold said one of the group’s main purposes is to connect residents with their local officials and police departments.

Several traffic issues, including a particularly unsafe intersection located at the corner of 88th Street and 153rd Avenue, were addressed during the meeting on Monday, March 12 at the Rockwood Park Jewish Center.

According to Gold, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is revisiting the situation and plans to address the area she says is “dangerous for pedestrians.”

Parents of students who attend P.S. 232 in Lindenwood were present at the meeting as well to express their ill feelings towards an alleged decision to remove the special education program from the school. According to Gold, the parents were informed by faculty and staff that P.S. 232’s classes for learning disabled children would be phased out. Gold said she plans to meet with the school’s principal to discuss the situation further and hopes to bring staff from District 27 to a future meeting.


Officials dispel rumors of crime spikes near Racino

| mchan@queenscourier.com

While reported rumors surface about crime spikes near the Racino, officials hope to dispel the so-called fallacies.

A recent New York Post article alleged petit larcenies and misdemeanor assaults have increased within the 106th Precinct — which covers the new Resorts World Casino — though they say it’s unclear whether the offenses can be tied to the South Ozone Park gambling operation.

The published story started a flurry of worry, according to Captain Thomas Pascale, the 106th Precinct’s commanding officer.

However, local officials said so far there’s no cause for concern.

“There’s no indication that any increase in crime is related to activities at the casino,” said Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10. “We work closely with the police department and casino security to monitor what is actually going on. So far, there’s nothing out of the ordinary.”

According to the Post, “at least three” separate crimes have occurred on casino property, including “a car stolen from a parking lot, a dropped wallet snatched in the Racino by a patron, and one gambler who tried to use a counterfeit bill in a slot machine.”

Though Stefan Friedman, spokesperson for Resorts World, declined to comment on these specific allegations, he said the facility has been “incredibly safe.”

“The safety of our patrons is priority number one,” Friedman said. “Our commitment to keeping criminal activity out of our project has resulted in extremely few incidents on and around the casino property since our opening.”

Pascale of the 106th Precinct directed comment — in regards to statistics and allegations — to NYPD officials, who did not respond as of press time.