Tag Archives: car theft

Perp violently attacks security guard outside Aqueduct, steals his Lexus: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Updated Thursday, July 30, 9:47 a.m.

A 66-year-old security guard was brutally assaulted in front of Aqueduct Racetrack over the weekend before his attacker stole his car, police said.

The incident happened about 7 p.m. on Saturday at the 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. venue in South Ozone Park.

According to authorities, the victim, a New York Racing Association peace officer, was just outside the clubhouse when the suspect — described as a black male, bald and about 6 feet tall — approached him and began physically assaulting him. During the attack, the victim dropped the keys to his 2008 Lexus, allowing the suspect to grab them. He then fled in the security guard’s vehicle, which was parked nearby.

EMS took the victim to an area hospital where he was treated for a broken nose and a broken eye socket.

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.

Editor’s note: An earlier version, based on information provided by the NYPD, incorrectly identified the location as Resorts World New York City, which shares the Aqueduct address. We regret any confusion that may have resulted. 

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Cops catch suspected Ridgewood car thief


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

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He should have found somewhere else to park.

The day after allegedly taking a man’s ride at gunpoint, a Ridgewood man was locked up by police after officers spotted the stolen vehicle parked on a neighborhood street.

Law enforcement sources said Gergory A. Spok, 26, allegedly attempted to steal a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu on Summerfield Street at about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25.

According to authorities, Spok allegedly got into the driver’s seat after the rightful owner briefly exited the car to open a driveway gate.

When the owner returned to his vehicle, police noted, Spok pointed a black firearm at him, then sped away from the scene in the car. The theft was later reported to the 104th Precinct.

According to the criminal complaint provided by the Queens District Attorney’s office, Det. Oleg Matat of the 104th Precinct Detective Squad spotted the stolen vehicle at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon parked in front of a location on Forest Avenue. After a check of the car’s license plate confirmed that it was stolen, officers were dispatched to stake out the car until someone attempted to enter it.

P.O. Louis Marinacci responded to the scene and, from his own police vehicle, reportedly observed Spok enter the stolen Malibu and turn on the engine. Police said the officer stopped Spok without incident and took him into custody.

Spok was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Friday on charges including first-degree armed robbery, second-degree robbery and criminal possession of stolen property. He remains held on $5,000 bail and is due back in court on April 10.

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Stolen Yorkshire Terrier reunited with Bayside owners


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Danny Morales

Police reunited Nutty the Yorkshire Terrier with his Bayside owners after the dog was stolen along with the owners’ car.

“We’re so relieved to have him back with us,” said Danny Morales, the dog’s owner. “I just can’t believe that he was returned to us totally unharmed, too.”

On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He left Nutty in the car with the engine on while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.

When he returned, the car, along with Nutty, was gone.

“It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it,” Morales said on Friday.

Morales and his girlfriend Diana Oh spread flyers with a $1,000 reward, and even created a Facebook page to alert people in the neighborhood.

But the search ended on Saturday when police reunited the owners with their dog at the 113th Precinct. The Bayside couple discovered that Nutty had been on a crime adventure over the last few days.

Morales said he received a phone called at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning from a woman claiming to be the dognapper’s mother.

“This woman called me and you could tell she was in tears and she said that her son had taken Nutty,” Morales said. “She kept apologizing and said her son was troubled.”

The mother told Morales that her son, a 19-year-old, had stolen several cars recently.

Police couldn’t be reached for comment, but Morales said that the dog was found in the driver’s seat of another stolen car. The driver, the 19-year-old son, was arrested along with his alleged girlfriend. Authorities found Morales’ identification card and credit cards in the girlfriend’s wallet.

“That’s when the cops realized that Nutty wasn’t just some dog,” he said. “It turns out that he took Nutty with him on all these car thefts.”

Morales and Oh celebrated on Saturday with family and friends. They took the dog to the veterinarian, who found nothing wrong with Nutty.

“He’s acting a little weird but then again, he’s always been an oddball,” Morales said.

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Bayside residents searching for missing dog taken in car theft


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Danny Morales

Two Bayside residents are scrambling to find their beloved Yorkie after a thief stole their car with Nutty the dog inside of it.

“I don’t care about the car. We’re just hoping that he didn’t just abandon the car with the dog stuck in it or something,” said Danny Morales, Nutty’s owner. “I just want my dog back. That’s it. We don’t care about anything else. No questions asked.”

Morales is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who returns Nutty, a brown Yorkshire Terrier. Anyone with information can call Morales at (917) 942-0121 or (646) 201-3882.

On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He decided to leave Nutty in the car with the engine on for just a second while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.

“And when I went outside my car wasn’t there,” Morales recalled. “It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it.”

Nutty_2

Danny Morales’ stolen Honda Accord.

Morales, along with his girlfriend Diana Oh,  have spent the past few days spreading flyers in the Bayside area and even Little Neck and Douglaston.

They’ve created a Facebook page Bring Nutty Home so that friends can spread the word. The incident was reported to the police but Morales believes that distributing fliers and using social media will be the fastest way to be reunited with Nutty.

“He’s so small and innocent, it sucks,” Morales said. “I’ve lived here for 30 years and everyone knows me here, so I can’t believe this happened.”

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Cops who arrested pair in car thefts honored


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Erica Camhi

Two officers were honored at the most recent 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting in Richmond Hill.

Captain Martin Briffa announced officers Kevin Warmhold and Kenneth Vencak as Cops of the Month during the Precinct Council’s monthly meeting on January 17.

Briffa — executive officer of the 102nd Precinct — said the pair was feted for arresting two individuals who attempted to make off with a stolen van.

On January 3, at around 11 p.m., Briffa said the two officers saw a male and female acting suspiciously on Atlantic Avenue. According to Briffa, the suspects removed a license plate from a Ford van, switched it with another plate and drove off in the stolen van.

Upon pursuit, Warmhold and Vencak were able to nab the criminals after a few blocks.

The male perp was later found to have 13 prior arrests — all for stealing cars — while the arrested female had three. The license plate in their possession, according to police, was also from another vehicle the pair stole.

According to Community Council President Maria Thomson, arrests like these have led to the success of the precinct and safety of the community. In fact, the 102nd Precinct was chosen as the 22nd safest precinct in the city, she said.

“We really are doing very well here,” she said, “I know — and you know — that our police officers, our captain, our lieutenants and our sergeants are working very, very hard.”

But because of their success, the 102nd Precinct did not get any new police officers from the latest graduating academy class — which was one concern raised by a resident.

“Because of the fact that we’re doing so well with statistics, we are being penalized,” Thomson said. “That is not fair.”

Thomson urged residents and local elected officials to write a letter to the police commissioner or mayor asking for more officers for the precinct.

Another resident raised concerns about three burglaries that allegedly took place on 127th Street during Christmas week, but Briffa assured there were “no pattern robberies right now.” However, Briffa encouraged homeowners to check their front door locks because most burglaries, he said, occur because front doors are not locked properly.

The majority of complaints stemmed from incensed residents living on Park Lane South, who say a nearby house has been drawing in a slew of unwanted activity after the building was foreclosed on by the bank in 2009.

According to residents, “squatters” have been living there, congregating, screaming and causing trouble inside. Residents also allege that there is drug and alcohol abuse inside the house, and one neighbor said he often smells marijuana coming from the home when he opens his window.

Although the captain said he can’t do anything about the squatters, he said if there is illegal drug use, he can try and get them locked up.

Meanwhile, he said neighboring residents should call the precinct to come out and investigate if they notice illegal activity.

Additional reporting by Erica Camhi