Tag Archives: best buy

East Elmhurst man busted after child porn found on computer during Best Buy repair


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

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One East Elmhurst man has been slapped with charges of possessing child pornography after bringing his laptop to Best Buy for repair.

On April 1, a technician at the electronics store located in Long Island City began working on a laptop that was dropped off by 61-year-old Michael Murray on March 26 to get repaired, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

After turning on and rebooting the computer the technician found the screen saver to contain a slide show of multiple young girls posing provocatively or engaging in sexual acts with adult men, Brown said. Once the worker altered his supervisor about the images, 15 photographs of young girls were found and the police was called.

“This defendant is alleged to have had some very disturbing photographs of children being sexually abused on his computer,” Brown said. “These photographs depict real children who will no doubt be emotionally and physically scarred for the rest of their lives.”

The district attorney added that detectives went to Murray’s East Elmhurst home Wednesday morning, where he allegedly admitted to knowing what was on his screen saver. Murray also allegedly admitted he had been sharing child pornography files with other people on the Internet for about five years.

Murray has been charged with 15 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. If convicted, Murray could face up to four years in prison.

 

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Queens residents get jump on Black Friday with Thursday shopping


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Red sales tags were everywhere on Thursday ahead of Black Friday.

After thousands of Queens residents stuffed their faces with turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, they went to grab doorbuster deals from retailers around the borough.

Black Friday, which has become one of the most successful shopping days for stores nationwide, now starts on Thanksgiving Day and customers had no problem with that.

“The stressful part is actually the waiting,” said Brian Astacio, a Ridgewood resident. Astacio waited three hours in line for the Best Buy in Queens Place mall to open at 6 p.m. to buy electronics and a big-screen TV.

“It’s good in a way because you get things you always wanted for cheap,” he added.

For the first time ever Macy’s, one of the country’s largest and oldest department chains, opened on Thanksgiving day at 8 p.m.

The line for the retailer stretched to more than 200 people about 20 minutes before it was about to open in Queens Center Mall, and that was just on the first floor entrance. Another line with hundreds of shoppers waited near the doors on the second floor.

“It’s become more of a culture thing,” said Maspeth resident Maryam Wasef, who was first in line at the Macy’s. “It’s interesting, because its the only time of the year you could get everything and everyone just saves for it.”

Wasef said she was on the hunt for perfume and a jacket, or anything else that may have a great discount.

Around the Rego Park Center mall consumers were exiting with large bags from stores such as Toys“R”Us and Kohl’s.

But there isn’t a little Black Friday without a little craziness.

Some customers complained about the pushing and shoving from fellow shoppers and about people who brought young children out for the evening.

“Just rudeness. It’s chaos,” said Forest Hills resident Farrah Krenek.

The shopping continues today, as many stores will still be serving their deals from last night, followed by more discounts for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, the online shopping bonanza.

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Queens gamers wait hours in line for new Sony PlayStation 4


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Christmas came early for local electronic stores.

The new Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) video game console was released at midnight Thursday in stores in Queens and around the country, and residents and gamers everywhere lined up to get it first.

“I have been waiting since the day I was born,” said Fresh Meadows resident Zack Abid, who was one of the first people to walk out of the Queens Place mall’s Best Buy store in Elmhurst with the new game system. “We’ve got new games, new consoles and we are about to enjoy them.”

The release of the new video game system was well received, despite the steep $400 price tag. Various electronic retailers had large crowds and long lines.

Many people reserved the video game online weeks ahead and came to pick it up at 12 a.m., while others who wanted to avoid pre-ordering fees, began lining up at the stores to buy any leftover game consoles.

The line at the Queens Place Best Buy had more than 90 people trying to buy the device without pre-ordering.

The GameStop in Flushing on Roosevelt Avenue had a line of more than 50 people on the sidewalk from about 6 p.m., collecting preorders for the new device. The store sold out within the hour.

“It’s one of the most anticipated days of the year [for sales],” said the GameStop store manager.

Various game critics in the industry have given the new console rave reviews. The system has advanced graphics and processing power over its predecessor, Play Station 3 (PS3), and the new DualShock 4 controller has a touchpad and a share button, which allows users to upload videos of their games to social media sites.

Although many are criticizing the new system because it can’t play PS3 games, many are excited to play newer games.

“I still have my PS3, I feel like it didn’t really sway me either way. It would have been nice though,” said College Point resident Andy Medina, who was buying his system from the Flushing GameStop. “I really enjoyed my PS3 so I figured this is the next best thing.”

Some were not so lucky to get the game though. Just around 12:30 a.m. the Queens Place Best Buy announced that they ran out of PS4s for customers that didn’t preorder and dozens of people were turned away.

However, the console craze isn’t over yet. This time next week electronic stores will host midnight launches again, as they prepare for the release of Microsoft’s Xbox One, the successor to the popular Xbox 360 game system, on November 22.

 

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Shoppers line up for savings on Black Friday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Fighting off the tryptophan, shoppers made their way out after Thanksgiving dinner eschewing sleep and leftovers for some early morning shopping.

Nearly 150 million people were expected to take advantage of Black Friday sales throughout the country this weekend, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey.

For some, Black Friday has become a tradition with Thanksgiving dinner providing the necessary energy for the shopping spectacle waiting the next morning.

“You eat, relax a little and then you’re ready to shop,” said Marilyn Bloom as she waited online outside Macy’s in Queens Center.

An estimated $586.1 billion will be spent during the holiday season, according to the NRF, a 4.1 percent increase from last year.

“Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there’s no question that it has changed in recent years; already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Many shoppers have begun to skip the long lines of Black Friday, instead opting for the ease of buying online on Cyber Monday. For others, the yearly practice of lining up the night of Thanksgiving has become a tradition.

“I do this every year. I prepare, check the deals and know exactly what I want. That’s how you have to do it, or you’ll be lost,” said Gabrielle Gandy, 37.

While Black Friday has begun to creep deeper into Thanksgiving – some national chains opened as early as 8 p.m. on Thursday – most stores in Queens Center waited for the stroke of midnight before opening their doors.

A DJ spinning records on the bottom floor provided the soundtrack to the party-like atmosphere in the Queens mall.

Z100’s Skeery Jones was also on hand giving customers a chance to win gift cards to the mall through a bevy of games.

As midnight approached, a New Year’s Eve like anticipation built outside Macy’s, which had the mall’s longest line, with customers even counting down the time until the doors would open.

“You have to get in there fast, but you don’t want to get stepped on,” said Erick Cruz as midnight approached.

Once crowded hallways emptied as shoppers flooded into stores as soon as the gates rose.

While some shops had hundreds of people lined up waiting to get in, others had none allowing shoppers to stock up on savings while avoiding the waiting and the crowds.

“It’s kind of crazy not to come. You’re paying less and there’s not even a line,” said Vic Calderon at Banana Republic, which no lines, but was offering 40 percent off.

A couple of blocks west at Queens Place, buyers looking to stock up on gadgets lined up outside the mall’s Best Buy hoping to score the hundreds of dollars of savings the electronics megastore was offering on televisions, computers and phones.

A floor up at Target, customers poured in at 9 p.m. to stock up on clothing, electronics and appliances.

Wielding multiple bags in each hand, Rachel Morales, 36, said however crazy it may get on Black Friday, the crowds are well worth it.

“I’m done Christmas shopping. Maybe just a couple of more small things,” she said. “Wait to the weekend before Christmas and then you’ll see craziness.”

Police seek stolen credit card suspect


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Police are asking for the public’s help locating a man wanted in connection with a November grand larceny.

On Monday, November 28, the suspect used a stolen credit card at the Best Buy on Queens Boulevard, according to police.

Police described the suspect as a 5-foot-10-inch male weighing 175 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).