Tag Archives: 108th Precinct

108th Precinct sees large crime decrease after new anti-crime team created


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Scott Bintner

Crime in the 108th Precinct — which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Maspeth — has seen a large decrease after a new team of seasoned officers hit the streets, according to the precinct’s top cop.

Captain John Travaglia, who took over the precinct last November, told The Courier that he has seen a 23 percent decrease in crime in the 28-day period ending on July 19 and a 30 percent decrease in the year to date.

Burglaries, which are the main issue the neighborhoods face, have been down 61 percent in the 28-day period and 26 percent in the year to date.

The police captain credits the decrease in crime to the creation of a second anti-crime team at the precinct which is made up of five seasoned officers.

“I inherited a precinct from Captain Brian Hennessy that I thought was working very, very well. The one thing that I noticed was we were missing an anti-crime team. Most precincts function with two anti-crime teams and we only had one,” Travaglia said.

Travaglia added that after going over the personnel background folders for each of the officers in the new team, he noticed they were being underutilized at the precinct and wanted “to get them back in the game.”

Since being formed in March, the team has worked to solve crimes that have been under the radar as well as more prominent crimes, and has helped take down ongoing crimes in the neighborhoods.

“We have put together, to me, one of the best anti-crime teams in the city of New York,” he said. “They’re just very sharp individuals. And I always say that if I was a criminal in this region right now, I’d be very scared of these men.”

Along with helping bring the crime numbers down, Travaglia said the men who make up the team are humble and are always accepting information from other officers and members of the precinct.

He added that they also train other officers around them and many other officers want to emulate these seasoned cops.

“They’re not giants among men. They’re police officers on a team. They don’t take credit for anything. The team takes credit. They’re phenomenal officers and they’re a big component of our crime reduction,” Travaglia said.

The precinct has seen a slight issue concerning Long Island City’s nightlife. Travaglia said that there have been issues, for example felony assaults, that occur late at night surrounding these establishments.

In order to tackle this issue and stop problems from occurring, Travaglia is looking to get together with the owners and managers of local bars, restaurants and clubs during a nightlife best practices meeting.

“We need cooperation because you don’t want to meet me after the situation has happened. You worked hard to get your liquor license, you’ve worked hard to license your establishment, to build your reputation up,” he said. “I want people to be successful here. People are coming to Long Island City to patronize these establishments at night, to visit here, so I want everyone to have a safe experience and pleasant experience.”

The precinct hopes to hold the first nightlife meeting in August or September at the precinct house, located at 5-47 50th Ave.

In regards to traffic enforcement, Travaglia said that since he took the post at the 108th Precinct there have been no traffic fatalities in the neighborhoods and he helped engineer a team of officers to follow traffic trends.

He added that although he has gotten some backlash on enforcement on bicyclists, he said he hopes the 364 summonses given out in the 28-day period, compared to the 17 in the same period last year, will control the other thousands on the road.

In regards to vehicles, he said there have been 7,000 moving summonses and 2,500 parking summonses given year to date.

“Someone has to make sure everyone is adhering to the rules of the road,” Travaglia said. “It’s something that I found needed to be addressed. We’re here to make sure the roadways are safe for all.”

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Burglar grabs euros from Woodside business: NYPD


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police continue to search for a man wanted in connection with a burglary at a Woodside business earlier this month in which foreign currency was stolen.

According to authorities, the break-in occurred at 7:45 a.m. on July 2 on Roosevelt Avenue near 53rd Street.

Reportedly, the suspect — described as a black male between 30 and 40 years of age who was wearing blue jeans — entered through an unlocked rear door and removed an unknown quantity of euros. The theft was later reported to the 108th Precinct.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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Police looking for suspect in attempted daytime mugging at Queens Plaza


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police released a sketch Thursday morning of a suspect wanted in connection with an attempted daytime mugging of a teenager at Queens Plaza in Long Island City last month.

According to authorities, the incident occurred at 5:45 p.m. on June 22 in front of a location on Queens Plaza South near 28th Street.

Reportedly, the suspect and four unidentified males approached the 19-year-old male victim as he walked through the area. Police said the group attempted to remove the victim’s property, then struck him repeatedly about the face and body with a metal object.

The incident was reported to the 108th Precinct; the victim was treated for minor injuries.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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108th Precinct commander touts major crime decline


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Crime in the 108th Precinct has drastically decreased so far in 2015, with reports down by 23 percent for the year overall, police reported during Tuesday’s 108th Precinct Community Council meeting in Sunnyside.

“When looking at crime overall, it’s a great trend that we’re seeing right now,” said Capt. John Travaglia, the precinct’s commanding officer, who credited his patrol officers and anti-crime teams for their work in keeping the neighborhood safe.

According to Travaglia, there have been fewer incidents this year in nearly all categories versus the same 28-day period from last year. Felony assault is down by 60 percent, with six reported versus last year’s 15. Burglaries are also down by more than half, with 11 incidents recorded by police versus the 25 incidents that occurred last year. Grand larceny down considerably, with 27 reported in the past 28 days versus 47 during this time in 2014.

Robbery was the only criminal activity that saw a slight uptick, but according to Travaglia, arrests have been made to deal accordingly with these instances.

Travaglia said that traffic issues have also been decreasing. There has been a 3 percent decrease in accidents and reported traffic injuries are down 8 percent. Additionally, there has not been a fatal car accident in the 108th Precinct for the past eight months.

In sharp contrast to decreases across the board, bike summonses have gone up sharply in 2015, Travaglia said. Over the last 28 days, 352 tickets were issued to bike riders versus only 3 percent during this time last year. Bike summonses were caused by a variety of infractions ranging from personal safety issues such as not wearing a helmet, to traffic violations incurred by riding through a red light.

The increase in traffic safety enforcement among bikers is largely spurred by the Vision Zero initiative undertaken by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office and other city agencies to reduce death and serious injuries on city streets.

In recognition of their crime-fighting efforts, the 108th Precinct Anti-Crime Team was honored with the “Cop of the Month” award for their collective efforts in preventing crime and interrupting incidents in progress. The Ridgewood Times donated the plaque presented to the team.

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Where to celebrate the Fourth of July on the LIC waterfront


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Diana Robinson/Mayoral Photography Office

With the Fourth of July just two weeks away, here is some information that will make that day even brighter with your family and friends.

As the light show makes its return to Queens, a few local venues in Long Island City are holding events and specials for the big day including:

1) LIC Flea & Food will run a Night Market extending its hours from 6 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. where visitors will be able to hang out at the LIC Flea Beer Garden and purchased food from over 80 vendors.

2) Penthouse 808, 8-08 Queens Plaza South
4th of July ROOFTOP Bash, festivities begin at 2 p.m.
Dress code: upscale/casual
General admission: Standing room only and includes a gourmet barbecue fare by executive chef Seth Levine, music and entertainment by special guest DJs
For more info call 718-289-6118 or visit www.ph808.com.

3) Riverview Restaurant/Lounge, 2-01 50th Ave.
4th of July fireworks spectacular: Four star buffet including oyster and shrimps
$170 per person plus tax and tip., top shelf open bar from 6 to 10 p.m.
For more info call 718-392-5000

4) Z NYC Hotel: 11-01 43rd Ave.
“Red, White and View” Package and Rooftop Tickets

Views from the roof top of The Z Hotel (Photo by ©Jennifer S. Altman)

Views from the roof top of The Z Hotel (Photo by ©Jennifer S. Altman)

Rates start at $925 for a 2-night stay excluding tax and service charge.
Package includes two-night accommodations in a guest room overlooking the Manhattan skyline, Fourth of July picnic featuring American Fare on the Z Roof (from 4:00 – 8:00), complimentary access to Z Roof during the Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular, two complimentary Fourth of July-themed cocktails, and daily breakfast.
Package available to book now through July 3 www.zhotelny.com and use code ZFIR or call 212-319-7000 and mention Red, White and View.
For rooftop access only tickets are $175 per person plus tax and service and includes rooftop access, rooftop picnic and two cocktails.
Children between the ages of 13 to 20 are welcome at $75/child and under 12 is complimentary. Roof opens at 3:00.

5) Cruise 2015 aboard the Starstream sails from the World’s Fair Marina
125-00 Northern Boulevard, off the Grand Central Parkway, Flushing Bay
$125 per person, for tickets call 516-623-5823.

6) Vista Sky Lounge and Rooftop Bar, 27-05 39th Ave.
4th of July Rooftop BBQ
Doors open at 8 p.m., $65 includes entrance fee and food, $20 for children under 12.

Vista Sky Lounge

Vista Sky Lounge and Rooftop Bar view

With the LIC waterfront being a prime location to catch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, there are also parking restrictions and an increase in security expected for the holiday.

According to Captain John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct, residents with vehicles who live from 44th Drive to 54th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard to the East River are highly suggest to relocate their vehicles in advance to July 4.

In preparation to the event, police will be towing vehicles within the zone after 12:01 a.m. and the parking restriction will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. on July 5.

It is also suggested that people should avoiding using vehicles in the LIC area on July 4 and police are expecting to be at capacity at all points west of 11th Street by 6 p.m. Latecomers and last minute arrivals should avoid anything west of 11th Street.

Travaglia also added that any residents within those boundaries who are expecting guests for the Fourth of July should encourage them to arrive before 3 p.m. and suggest they carry any party invitations with an address and contact info of the person hosting the part, allowing police ensure people get where they need to go.

In regards to where to view the fireworks on the waterfront, Hunters Point South Park will not be open to the public as it is being used as Macy’s private viewing and NBC’s broadcast compound.

However, Gantry Plaza State Park will be opened and people are encouraged to arrive there no later than 3 p.m. Entry points to the park and Center Boulevard include 48th to 46th avenue from Vernon Boulevard. There will be no access from 49th Ave to Borden Ave on Vernon Blvd. The New York State Park Police will be monitoring the volume of people on the piers in Gantry State Park and when the maximum occupancy is reached the piers will be closed. The same will be done for the remaining areas of the park

Those entering the waterfront from 44th Drive to 49th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard to the East River should expect to have their bags and personal items checked and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in Gantry Plaza State Park.

“Being center stage for this event is a huge honor for Long Island City. But with this honor comes monstrous responsibility and concerns. Safety and security are paramount,” Travaglia said. “I can not thank the Long Island City community enough for their cooperation up until this point and their future cooperation. The community is a co-producer with the police in the safety and success of this event.”

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Driver arrested for drug stash following LIC traffic stop


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A simple traffic violation led to serious charges for a driver who was pulled over in Long Island City and caught with an assortment of drugs in his car, police said.

Two plainclothes officers from the 108th Precinct in an unmarked vehicle spotted a Jeep Grand Cherokee blow a stop sign on 38th Street before heading east on 43rd Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, authorities said.

The cops then stopped the driver and as they approached the car smelled a strong odor of marijuana allegedly coming from the vehicle. When they looked inside the car, the officers saw marijuana residue on the floor.

They also discovered that the driver, identified as 29-year-old Omar Carbajal of Woodside, was driving with a suspended license.

According to authorities, Carbajal was arrested and taken to the 108th Precinct stationhouse in Long Island City for processing while police searched his car.

During the search, they uncovered 2 ounces of PCP in the trunk and later discovered a trap in the center console that contained over 5 ounces of cocaine, over 8 ounces of marijuana and 60 amphetamine pills.

Carbajal was charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, including with the intent to sell, criminal possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operator, failure to stop at a stop sign and excessive tint, police said.

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Rego Park woman sentenced for fatally pushing man in front of 7 train


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Schwen

A Rego Park woman began a 24-year prison sentence Wednesday for pushing a man to his death at a 7 train station in Sunnyside more than two years ago.

Erika Menendez, 33, pled guilty in March of this year to a manslaughter charge for killing Sunnando Sen, 46, at the 40th Street station on the night of Dec. 27, 2012.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Menendez was seen talking to herself and pacing on the platform at about 8 p.m. that evening. Moments later, she shoved Sen from behind off the platform and into an arriving Manhattan-bound 7 train.

Sen was pronounced dead a short time later from blunt force trauma.

During questioning, Menendez reportedly claimed she attacked Sen, whom she believed was a Muslim, because she hated “Hindus and Muslims ever since” the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Her prior record includes attacking a fire department battalion chief in June 2003 in front of his home on Palmetto Street in Ridgewood.

“[Menendez] committed what is every subway commuter’s worst nightmare — being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday. “The victim was shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself… [Her] actions clearly show that she is a threat to society and deserving of today’s sentence.”

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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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Armed crook steals safe cash from Maspeth distributor


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Sketch courtesy of NYPD

Detectives are searching for the gun-toting suspect who pulled off a heist Monday at a Maspeth auto parts distributor.

Police said the robbery occurred at 5:30 p.m. inside World Pac Auto Parts located at 55-55 58th St., near 55th Drive.

According to authorities, the suspect — described as a Hispanic male standing 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds with a dark complexion and hazel eyes — walked into the business and displayed a black revolver.

The crook reportedly ordered three employees to open the safe. When they refused to comply with the request, the perpetrator fired a shot into the ground; no one was struck or injured, police said.

After he fired the warning shot, the employees complied with the crook’s request and opened the safe, according to the NYPD. The bandit then removed an unknown amount of cash and ordered the employees to hand over their wallets and cellphones.

Once the workers provided the suspect with their belongings, authorities said, the suspect ordered them to lie face down on the floor and count to 120, then made his getaway.

There were no injuries reported.

The bandit was last observed wearing a black hat, a gray shirt, black jeans and black sneakers.

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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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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Tumbling crime numbers top 108th Precinct Council meeting in Sunnyside


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Crime plunged in the 108th Precinct over the last four weeks, the force’s commanding officer reported during Tuesday’s 108th Precinct Community Council meeting at Sunnyside Community Services.

Capt. John Travaglia said that the precinct, which covers all or parts of Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Woodside, recorded a 28 percent drop in major crimes in the last 28 days. The plunge included a 50 percent fall in robberies, an 11 percent decrease in burglaries and a 46 percent drop in grand larcenies.

Continuing the positive news, Travaglia said the precinct recorded no incidents of rape, homicide or auto accident fatalities so far this year.

“Our numbers reflect how safe of a community we live in,” Travaglia said. “This is a wonderful place and the statistics don’t lie.”

Travaglia did, however, caution residents about preventing burglaries during the coming spring and summer months.

“As the weather gets warmer, we tend to leave our windows open to let the nice breeze into our homes,” he said, “but when you leave your home, remember to shut those windows and lock them.  These are crimes of opportunity, and we want to make sure we take that opportunity away.”

Travaglia and the council honored one officer in particular for his efforts to fight crime. P.O. John Miszuk of the precinct’s Anti-Crime Team received the Cop of the Month Award for apprehending a violent robbery suspect earlier in the month.

At 10:30 p.m. on March 21, 108th Precinct officers responded to a 911 call regarding a robbery in progress in the vicinity of 47th Avenue and 46th Street. According to Travaglia, the suspect approached his male victim from behind with a knife, demanding cash and belongings. After a brief struggle, the victim’s face and hand were slashed and the perp fled on foot.

The victim surrendered some personal property, but managed to hold on to his cellphone and call the police. Travaglia spoke with the victim over the phone and tried to get a description of the perp, as well as the victim’s location. Miszuk and his team combed the area searching for the suspect based on the description given to 911.

Miszuk apprehended the suspect a few blocks away from the crime scene, while Travaglia was still on the phone with the victim. The suspect was allegedly found in possession of a knife, as well as crack cocaine and a crack pipe.

Travaglia and Precinct Council President Diane Ballek presented Miszuk with a plaque donated by the Ridgewood Times and Times Newsweekly.

The Precinct Council also welcomed Marissa Beckett from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV). Beckett announced the creation and expansion of several programs aimed at helping victims of domestic assault at Family Justice Centers in each borough.

“Domestic Violence is a pattern of power and control,” she explained. “It can begin as threats and can escalate to physical abuse.”

Some of the programs offered at the Queens Family Justice Center, located at 126-02 82nd Ave. in Kew Gardens, include Safe Horizon, ESL classes, parenting programs and the Healthy Relationship Training Academy aimed at preventing cyber bullying and dating violence among teens. Help is available to all regardless of their language or immigration status.

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Suspect arrested in string of LIC, Astoria restaurant break-ins


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

One man’s burglary spree has come to an end, as officers of the 114th and 108th precincts worked together to arrest him for allegedly breaking into businesses overnight in Long Island City and Astoria dating back to last June.

According to court records, each time 40-year-old Shameek Dunbar would break into the establishments through either a door or window, and once inside would take money, ranging from $20 to $1,000, from cash registers.

Dunbar was arrested on Feb. 25 at his home in Queensbridge when forensics evidence linked him to one of four burglaries in the confines of the 114th Precinct, a police source said.

Subsequent investigation linked him to seven more burglaries, these in the confines of the 108th Precinct.

“This was fantastic detective work,” said Capt. John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct. “It was good working together from both precincts.”

Criminal complaints detailed nine of the 11 incidents:

  • Between June 10, 2014, at 9 p.m. and June 11 at 9:30 a.m., Dunbar broke into Andres Pizza located at 25-19 40th Ave. through a glass door. He is observed through surveillance footage cutting wires on a cash register, worth about $450. The store owner alleges that $20 was taken from the register.
  • On Oct. 24, 2014, Dunbar broke into Tequila Sunrise located at 40-01 Northern Blvd. through a side window. The owner alleged $350 was taken from a cash register.
  • Between Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 3:12 a.m., the suspect entered Barista at 11-11 44th Rd. through a front glass door. Surveillance footage shows Dunbar throwing a rock at the door. He later took money.
  • On Jan. 2 between 3:04 and 4:18 a.m. Dunbar entered Hu Department Store located at 47-09 Northern Blvd. through the front door. Although the store owner alleged $1,000 was missing from the register, Dunbar said he tried to open the register but couldn’t and then left.
  • Between Jan. 18 at 11 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 4 a.m. Dunbar entered a business at 47-29 Vernon Blvd. through a window and surveillance shows him trying to pry open a register.
  • On Jan. 24 between 3:35 a.m. and 4:05 a.m. Dunbar broke into Pachanga Patterson located at 33-17 31st Ave. The store owner alleges $200 was missing from a cash register.
  • Between Jan. 31 at 10 p.m. and Feb. 1 at 3:17 a.m. the suspect broke into Petey’s Burger at 46-46 Vernon Blvd. through a side window. Surveillance footage shows him prying open a register and taking money.
  • Between Feb. 12 at 8:30 a.m. and Feb. 13 at 11:45 a.m., the suspect entered Breadbox Café at 47-11 11th St. through a door. He the used a screwdriver to pry open a register and took $300.
  • Between Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 22 at 3:45 a.m. the suspect entered Mix Nail Salon at 44-68 21st St. through the glass front door. Surveillance video shows the suspect entering the location, prying open a register and taking money.

Dunbar is facing charges of burglary, criminal mischief, possession of burglar tools, petit larceny, and for one of the incidents a charge of grand larceny.

He is due back in Queens Criminal Court on April 9. 

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Career criminal busted for stealing airbags, hybrid battery pack in Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons/Shoreline

A 48-year-old man, with more than 20 arrests in about two decades on his record, is now being charged with breaking into several cars and stealing airbags, and in one case a hybrid vehicle battery pack, according to authorities.

Peter C. Ali, an Astoria resident, was arraigned on March 5 and charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, possession of burglar’s tools, petit larceny and resisting arrest.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, on Dec. 28, 2014, Ali broke into a late model Toyota Camry yellow taxi parked on Queens Boulevard and 52nd Street in Woodside and removed the car’s hybrid battery pack, valued at about $4,000.

Later, on Feb. 25, Ali was allegedly seen using a flashlight to look into the interior of a silver Toyota Camry on the corner of 21st Street and 29th Avenue in Astoria before stealing the car’s airbag. The next day, Ali allegedly took another airbag from a 2010 Toyota minivan parked near Austin Street and Union Turnpike in Forest Hills.

Ali was caught on March 5 as officers of the Grand Larceny Unit witnessed him stealing an airbag from a car in Astoria , according to a police source.

The incident with the hybrid battery was one of 11 that have occurred in the confines of the 108th Precinct since November. During those incidents, car thieves walked away with the expensive batteries from the trunks of the vehicles. The investigation for the remaining 10 cases is ongoing.

Ali is currently being held on $100,000 bail and his next court date is scheduled for March 18. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

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NYPD’s first deputy commissioner honored at Black History Month celebration


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy the office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer

Members of the NYPD, including First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, and local community leaders were honored for all their achievements during an annual Black History Month celebration in Long Island City.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosted his fifth annual Black History Month Celebration and Awards Night on Thursday night at the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, located at 10-25 41st Ave. within the Queensbridge Houses.

During the event, attended by over 250 guests, Van Bramer presented a Distinguished Public Service Award to Tucker, who serves as the first deputy commissioner for the NYPD.

Other honorees of the night included Dolores Chauncey from Friends of Queensbridge Park; Captain Mark Simmons, commanding officer of PSA-9; Jacqueline Williams from the Ravenswood Senior Center; Judith Mitchell of NYCHA Family Services; Brian McMichael, owner of Miriam’s Restaurant in LIC; Vanessa Hayes; Daniel Taylor, treasurer of the Queensbridge Old Timers; and Dionne Jaggon, principal of P.S. 111 in LIC.

The celebration also featured performances by ELSCO Dance, the Queensbridge Senior Shakers and the Bryant High School Dance Company.

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Man turns himself in following deadly Long Island City beating


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/Property Shark

A man is in police custody after turning himself in for a fatal beating in Long Island City on Friday, authorities said.

Kaheem Addison, 29, of Huntington Station, Long Island, allegedly got into a dispute with Jose Antonio Cocuyo-Malaga, 32, about 2:30 a.m. at 50th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, which turned violent.

Police found Cocuyo-Malaga unconscious and unresponsive with head trauma upon their arrival. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police would not confirm what caused the fight, but according to the New York Post, Cocuyo-Malaga, a married father and chef from Astoria, was attacked after he tried to catch a ride from what he thought was a livery cab.

Addison got out of the car and “rushed” Cocuyo-Malaga, the Post said, and, as they struggled, his head was slammed into the sidewalk. Addison then fled.

Witnesses then alerted police at the 108th Precinct, which is just around the corner on 50th Avenue, reports said.

Addison turned himself into the same precinct station house with his lawyer by his side on Saturday, according to police.

He has since been charged with manslaughter.

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