Tag Archives: car break-ins

Car break-ins increasing in Glendale, police and residents say

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Joann Guidici

Glendale is seeing a rise in car break-ins this year, according to police.

During a community meeting on May 20, Capt. Christopher Manson, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, said that compared to last year, there was a rise in thefts from automobiles.

He was unable to provide exact stats at the meeting, but, through May 18, the latest state available on the NYPD website, there were marked increases in both grand larceny (up 21 percent) and petit larceny (up 16.5 percent).

The spike in crime is leaving many residents of this usually quiet neighborhood surprised and frustrated with cops.

Joann Guidici, a resident of Glendale, found her car broken into on a recent Saturday morning. The car had been parked on 72nd Street and the driver window was smashed but nothing valuable had been stolen from the car.

“They must’ve done it for the high,” she said. “Because they didn’t take any of the valuable stuff.”

She noted that there had been two pairs of expensive, designer glasses in the car that were left untouched.

Brian Dooley, a member of the Glendale Property Owners Organization, had a similar experience.

“My car was broken into twice,” he said. Unlike Guidici, there were no broken windows. “The first time I thought that we had left the car unlocked. But after the second incident, I knew that they must be using a magnetic device of some sort.”

Manson echoed Dooley’s suspicion about the use of a magnetic device.

“Most of the cases we’ve responded to are with cars that don’t have any broken windows or picked locks,” he said during the meeting. “So we think that whoever is doing that is using some kind of magnetic device.”

Police say they are doing everything they can to stop the spike in car break-ins, which are mostly occurring in Glendale with a few also in Middle Village. But Guidici said that it isn’t enough.

“This has been an issue for over a year,” she said. “The 104th Precinct wasn’t very helpful. They need to step it up.”


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.”