Tag Archives: 109th precinct

Police shoot and kill knife-wielding man in Flushing


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

One man is dead after he confronted police with a utility knife Sunday morning in Flushing, according to authorities.

The incident started when a 29-year-old man at New York Hospital Queens threatened personnel with a knife and then fled the facility, police said.

According to published reports, the man, Joseph Priolo, checked into the hospital early Sunday morning complaining of chest pains. Following his release, he returned a short time later, brandishing the weapon.

After he fled the hospital, cops were called, and at about 7:40 a.m., they began to canvas the area.

Then at about 8:24 a.m., a suspect, who fit Priolo’s description, was seen in front of 43-32 Kissena Blvd., according to authorities.

Police approached Priolo on foot and he then confronted one of the officers while holding a utility knife in one hand, authorities said. The officer then shot his gun twice, striking Priolo once in the torso.

Priolo was taken to New York Hospital Queens where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Four members of the NYPD were taken to New York Hospital Queens for treatment of tinnitus.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Police looking for thief who stole gold necklace off victim’s neck in Flushing


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy the NYPD

Police are searching for a suspect in connection with a bizarre theft in which the victim was tricked into modeling scarves so the suspect could steal her gold necklace.

The suspect, described as a 40-year-old Asian woman, approached the victim, a 56-year-old woman, about modeling scarves for her on July 20 at about 1:45 p.m. in front of a retail store at 41-43 Main St. in Flushing, cops said.

Both women entered the store, and while the suspect was placing scarves on the victim’s neck, she removed a gold necklace from the older woman and fled the store in an unknown direction, according to authorities.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, and has black hair and a thin build.

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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Cops search for College Point serial burglar


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

A serial burglar has committed 25 break-ins in College Point since March, police said.

Cops are looking to identify a man caught on film during a May 8 burglary near 14th Avenue and 124th Street.

During the burglaries, the man broke into residential locations and stole items that included jewelry, electronics and money, mostly during daylight hours, police said.

In one incident on May 25, $3,000 in Chinese currency was taken, cops said.

The suspect is described as about 25 to 40 years old and 170 to 180 pounds.

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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109th Precinct donates $500 to elderly victims of robbery in Flushing


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy NYPD

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Being an NYPD officer goes further than just catching bad guys- it’s about helping the victims.

Cops from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reached into their pockets to help out 71-year-old twin sisters who were robbed of their monthly income, the NYPD said on its Facebook page.

The women were on their way home from a bank in Flushing on April 5 when they were followed into an elevator in their apartment building by Salvador Morales, who knocked them to the floor and stole the $1,100 in Social Security aid they just received, the NYPD said.

One of the sisters suffered a fractured bone in her leg, and both were transported to New York Hospital Queens.

After word of the crime spread through the precinct, Officer Anthony Lo Verme and Detective Kevin O’Donnell collected about $500 from their colleagues and donated the money in person to the victims, the police said.

“When we heard that they had just lost their entire monthly income we all knew we had to help,” O’Donnell said.

Morales, a 58-year-old man from Manhattan, was arrested in Brooklyn and has been charged with burglary, robbery and assault. Police were able to identify him from similar burglaries he pulled off in Coney Island in Brooklyn wearing the same “mask-and-hat get-up,” police said.

Morales has at least 11 prior arrests for burglaries dating back to 1989, authorities said.

The cops visited the women, who are still recovering, and handed the money to them at their bedsides.

“Cops in New York City do things like this each and every day,” said Inspector Brian Maguire of the 109th Precinct.”I love the fact that my officers took it upon themselves and they rose to the occasion.” 

 

 

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Cops help elderly Flushing couple dig car out of ice and snow


| mchan@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY NYPD

The last big snowfall to bury the city uncovered the best in two local cops.

Police Officers Adrienne Galvani and Cory Smith of the 109th Precinct took a brief detour from their anti-crime patrol, shortly after the Feb. 13 snowstorm, to help an elderly Flushing couple dig their buried car out of a thick sheet of ice.

“We pictured our grandparents in that situation,” Galvani said. “As soon as we saw them, we knew we had to stop and help them.”

Arnold Lederer, 98, and his wife Theresa, 86, had set aside the full day to dig out their 1997 Oldsmobile Intrigue in order to pick up an important prescription at their local pharmacy.

“There was a big pile of snow behind it and a big pile in front,” Theresa said. “It was quite deep and it was already icy. We were planning to take little breathers every few minutes.”

The officers took the shovels from their hands and told them to keep warm inside.

For 35 minutes, they chipped away at the ice, even breaking an ice pick in the process, said the longtime Queens couple who lives on Willets Point Blvd.

With Galvani steering the wheel and Smith pushing from behind, the pair even loosened the car out of its street parking spot and checked up with the Lederers the next day.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Galvani, who has been with the precinct for nearly 11 years. “They would have never gotten that car out.”

The Lederers are still in shock over the act of kindness.

“We were absolutely overwhelmed by their generosity and the time that they spent,” Theresa said. “They wouldn’t even accept a cup of coffee.”

 

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Cops arrest alleged catalytic converter thieves in Flushing


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File graphic image

Police arrested two men in Flushing for allegedly sawing catalytic converters off multiple trucks in a U-Haul storage lot.

The device — which contains precious metals inside, like platinum — has been the target of a costly new citywide crime trend.

Dwayne Longmore, 31, and Neil Stephens, 33, were arrested Jan. 4 and charged with grand larceny for allegedly removing eight catalytic converters out of the 36-30 College Point Blvd. lot, police said.

The stolen devices totaled nearly $5,000, according to Crime Prevention Officer Anthony Lo Verme of the 109th Precinct.

Executive Officer Captain Tommy Ng said the precinct has not seen other catalytic converter thefts since the arrests.

The 111th Precinct, which reported a spike in November and December, is also experiencing a lull in the crime this month, though other grand larcenies are spiking, Crime Prevention Officer Luigi Galano said.

Car thefts and vehicle break-ins in Bayside have increased, as drivers are still leaving valuables unattended and in plain view.

“It’s enough for us to realize there’s a problem,” Galano said.

The crimes are taking place near the Bayside Gables and from Northern Boulevard to 35th Avenue.

The NYPD said parking in well-lit areas near traffic, being aware of surroundings and checking on cars, even while at home, could help avoid thefts.

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Police amp up efforts to reduce grand larcenies in downtown Flushing


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Police are beefing up efforts to protect downtown Flushing shoppers from pickpockets ahead of the Lunar New Year, as grand larcenies have more than doubled since last year.

“We will be taking extra precaution, with the community carrying lots of money,” said Inspector Brian Maguire, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct.

A command post vehicle will be stationed outside the Flushing branch of the Queens Library over the weekend, at the start of new year celebrations, Maguire said.

The precinct has also amped up awareness initiatives and held a crime prevention seminar Tuesday for local business owners.

Officers played surveillance footage of pickpockets to show how fast the crime can occur when property is unattended or victims are unaware.

“In the blink of an eye, your bag is gone,” said Captain Tommy Ng, the precinct’s executive officer.

Last year, the precinct saw a 53 percent increase in grand larcenies from 2012, Maguire said.

The crime, which includes credit-card fraud, phone thefts and shoplifting, is still rising.

Grand larcenies in the precinct have spiked more than 56 percent so far since last year, jumping from 48 to 75 incidents in the first three weeks of January to date, an NYPD spokesperson said.

Maguire said a partnership between the NYPD and local businesses could whittle down rising numbers.

Officials from the Chung Fat Supermarket on Main Street recently helped officers arrest a pickpocket with an extensive criminal history, he said.

“I truly believe that working together, we can achieve great things,” Maguire said. “We will make Flushing safer, trust me. We all should have this as a common goal.”

Ng warned diners not to hang their purses over chairs at restaurants or bars. He also told store owners to be wary of people who reappear multiple times without making a purchase.

“That should raise a flag immediately,” Ng said. “He is not your customer. He is in your store to commit a crime.”

 

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Police seek suspect in Flushing restaurant purse theft


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a woman who last month snatched an unattended purse off a chair at a Chinese restaurant in Flushing and fled.

The grand larceny took place at Good Fortune Restaurant, at 46-45 Kissena Boulevard, on Nov. 30 at about noon.

The suspect — described as an Asian woman with long black hair and brown eyes — allegedly took the bag off a chair after a 25-year-old female victim left it behind to go to the bathroom, police said.

The thief walked out of the restaurant and fled in a 2013 black Mercedes Benz, according to authorities.

Officers of the 109th Precinct urge residents to keep their valuables close while shopping and dining and not to leave them unattended, especially in restaurants, cars and shopping carts.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477.

 

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Queens woman admits to bogus ‘blessing scam’


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic

A 50-year-old con artist has admitted to duping three Queens women out of nearly $5,000 through a phony “blessing” scam, officials said.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Fengluan Qin confessed Thursday to using an ancient con game to take jewelry and large sums of cash from three unsuspecting Flushing women, between 52 and 72 years old.

Qin convinced the victims to place their cash and valuables into a bag for a “blessing ritual” that would cure their families of sickness and bad luck, before swapping the bags and stealing the goods, Brown said.

Victims of the hoax have lost $1.3 million within the last year to different crews moving throughout the city, according to Inspector Brian Maguire, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct.

Out of about 50 cases citywide, more than $500,000 has been pilfered from victims in the 109th precinct alone, Maguire said.

According to Brown, the scam that targets mostly elderly immigrant women is prevalent in Asian communities nationwide.

“People should be aware that this is just one of many confidence tricks used by individuals to swindle money from vulnerable people and should not fall victim to it,” Brown said.

The district attorney’s office said Qin, a Chinese national with an expired visa, was believed to be living in Flushing, though she did not provide an address to authorities.

She pleaded guilty to grand larceny charges on December 5, Brown said. She is expected to be sentenced to one to three years in prison on December 18.

As part of the plea deal, Qin must also forfeit $4,765 in restitution and sign a confession of judgment for another $10,000.

Police are urging families to spread word of the scam to older relatives and friends.

Cops said victims, if approached, should agree with the tricksters on a meeting spot and then go home and call 9-1-1.

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Police searching for suspects in Flushing, Briarwood robberies


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Video Courtesy NYPD

Police are looking for two men wanted in connection with two robberies on Saturday.

According to the NYPD, the first robbery occurred at approximately 12:25 a.m. in the vicinity of 58th Road and 138th Street in Flushing. The two suspects approached a 22-year-old male victim, placed him in a chokehold, displayed a firearm and then removed his Samsung Galaxy cellphone and wallet. No medical attention was requested after the incident.

The second robbery took place the same day around 12:45 a.m.near 84th Drive and 148th Street in Briarwood , said police. The suspects approached the 31-year-old male and 38-year-old female victims, displayed a firearm and removed their iPhone, purse and wallet, and then fled. No medical attention was requested after this incident.

According to police, the suspects are described as being 18 to 20-year-old males, approximately 5’7”to 5’9” with thin builds.

The NYPD has released a video of the first robbery in Flushing.

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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109th Precinct cautions about airplane ticket scams


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

RACHEL LANDAU

The 109th Precinct urges users of certain websites to be extra cautious.

According to officers, a 23-year-old Asian man is wanted by police for duping a victim out of thousands of dollars.  The man sold the victim 19 roundtrip tickets from New York City to Shanghai, valued at $22,000, which he said he paid in person, in cash on October 8. The perpetrator allegedly gave the victim 19 corresponding confirmation numbers. When the victim went to check the confirmation numbers, the statuses were all cancelled. Numerous attempts to contact the perpetrator were made by the victim shortly thereafter. Despite his persistent phone calls, the victim has yet to find the perp.

“It might have been a one-time incident but it could very well become a new scam,” cautioned Police officer Anthony LoVerme.

LoVerme urges users to be careful on sites such as Craigslist since it is difficult to really know with whom one is dealing.

LoVerme strongly suggests that one buy airplane tickets from a reputable source, therefore avoiding “cash-only street-dealings” with strangers.

 

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Suspect tries to break into Whitestone residence using homeowner’s ladder


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

On Monday between the hours of 1 and 1:30 p.m., a 9-1-1 call was made stating a suspicious man dressed in all black clothing was fleeing a home in the vicinity of 149th Street and 22nd Avenue in Whitestone.

Sources say the suspect attempted to break into a home using a ladder which was left at the back of the house. The owner was in the house at the time, yelled, and the perp took off, using the ladder to get back out.

The 109th Precinct responded with cars, K-9 and aviation units, but the suspect was not arrested.

The 109th Precinct Community Council advises that if you have a ladder in the back of your home lock it to a fence or keep it in the garage.

 

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Citywide scam cons elderly Chinese women out of $1.3M


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Victims of a citywide scam targeting elderly Chinese women have given $1.3 million to con artists within the last year, police said.

According to the 109th Precinct, a hoax stemming from China continues to plague seniors in downtown Flushing.

Victims have lost about $500,000 in the Queens precinct alone out of about 50 cases citywide, officials said.

“This is having a devastating impact upon families,” said Inspector Brian Maguire, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct. “It’s not just one or two people doing this. We believe there’s a bunch of different crews moving throughout the city.”

Perpetrators are typically Chinese women between 30 and 40 years old, police said. They work in groups of three, convincing older, unsuspecting women on the street they are followed by evil spirits and bad luck.

The con artists then sway victims into putting thousands of dollars in valuables and cash into a “good luck” bag before swapping the bag with a fake and stealing the goods, police said.

“It’s an old trick that people still fall for,” said Captain Tommy Ng, the precinct’s executive officer.

The precinct arrested three females last October in connection with the scheme, Maguire said. Two of the women, all Chinese nationals, have since fled the country after posting bail.

Officers are urging families to spread the word to older relatives and friends.

If approached, cops said victims should agree with the tricksters on a meeting spot and then go home alone and call 9-1-1.

“It behooves the children to tell their parents,” Maguire said. “Do not fall for these promises. Do not talk to strangers. Don’t believe in these false spells.”

 

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App leads cops to Flushing cell phone thief


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Apple

A smartphone tracking app played a key role in arresting an alleged cell phone thief within 30 minutes of the crime, police said.

Jordan Osborne, 19, allegedly fled in Flushing after grabbing an iPhone 5 out of the hands of a 28-year-old woman, according to the 109th Precinct. The victim was walking on Main Street and 41st Avenue around noon on April 15, police said.

A witness attempted to chase Osborne and then called 9-1-1.

Police then used a tracking device on the victim’s phone to locate Osborne on the No. 7 train near Citi Field. The MTA stopped the train so officers could go car to car, police said.

Cops found the phone ringing in Osborne’s hand. He was arrested immediately.

The suspect has been arrested for assault three times.

-BY MELISSA CHAN AND ROSA KIM

 

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Burglars using fire escapes to break into Flushing apartments


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

At least six apartments in Flushing have been broken into within the last month by burglars who enter through fire escapes, police said.

Cops at the 109th Precinct say the thieves enter apartment complexes through building lobbies, make their way up to the roof and work their way down.

“A lot of the time in these buildings, the fire escapes are in the back of the building. Driving by, we don’t see if somebody’s walking on the fire escape,” said Anthony LoVerme, the precinct’s crime prevention officer.

A resident at a 42-33 Kissena Boulevard complex said she came home to find a man climbing out of her bedroom window and using the fire escape to make off with her Louis Vuitton bag on February 4, LoVerme said.

And another resident at 42-30 Union Street said burglars stole her iPad and $13,000 in cash on February 12, LoVerme said. The front door was still locked when the victim came home, but the kitchen window leading to the fire escape was open, the victim told cops.

“Nobody should ever be using the fire escape,” LoVerme said. “Don’t just assume that maybe somebody just locked themselves out of their apartments and they’re just trying to get in through the fire escape.”

Building owners and property managers can call the precinct at 718-321-2268 to enroll in its trespass program, which thwarts loiterers and burglaries with more police presence inside buildings.

 

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