Tag Archives: cell phone

Real estate roundup: Hallets Point holdout, subway cell phone service expanding to Queens stations


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Durst Organization

Hallets Point holdout throws wrinkle in $1.5B Durst project

“A real estate investor that owns the last of three pieces that the Durst Organization needs to develop a $1.5 billion project in Astoria known as Hallets Point is holding out beyond the original September closing date, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the megaproject.” Read more [The Real Deal]

New York Subway Cell Service to Grow

“New York City subway riders will be able to use their phones and other devices for the first time in that outer borough along with more underground stations in Manhattan, under a rollout of additional wireless Internet and cellular service expected to be unveiled on Thursday.” Read more [The Wall Street Journal]

Planned Parenthood will break ground on its first Queens health center

“Planned Parenthood will break ground on its first Queens outpost Thursday, officials said. The 14,000-square-foot facility in Long Island City will offer testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, as well as pregnancy tests and abortions.” Read more [The New York Daily News]

Cops looking for suspects in South Ozone Park robbery, assault


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

A 49 year-old man was robbed and assaulted in front of a deli in South Ozone Park earlier this month, according to police.

One of the suspects took $400 and a cell phone from the man at about 2:05 a.m. on May 5, before three other suspects attacked the victim, leaving him with minor injuries to his face and head, cops said. The robbery and assault happened on Rockaway Boulevard near 134th Street.

Police have released a photo of the first suspect and describe all of the suspects as men between the ages of 18 and 25.

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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Man wanted for series of subway cell phone thefts


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of DCPI

Police are searching for a man wanted for snatching five electronic devices over the past month on trains in Queens and Brooklyn.

Four cell phones and an iPad were stolen in the incidents that all occurred E, F, or R trains as they entered the station, according to police. The five victims were all women between the ages of 16-28.

The most recent robbery took place on December 11 as the suspect exited the R train at the 67th Avenue station. The suspect punched a 16-year-old girl in the face before taking her phone.

Police described the suspect as a black man between 25-30 years old, standing 6-feet-1-inch tall and weighing between 180-190 pounds.

 

 

T-Mobile store scams Queens customers out of thousands


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A major mobile phone service provider is under fire from hundreds of Queens residents who say an authorized retailer scammed them for thousands — before closing up shop and ducking their calls.

A T-Mobile retailer, who sources identify as a South Asian man named “Raj” who suffers from schizophrenia, allegedly billed customers for several unauthorized lines that he tacked on to their accounts, and then pocketed the additional money when they directly gave him payments in cash.

“He’s from my country. He speaks my language and is even from my city. I trusted him. Now he ran away,” said Tarsem Singh, 47. “I can’t afford this. I paid these bills already. I feel like I’m going to die.”

Singh, a car service driver from Brooklyn, is one of hundreds of consumers who said they made direct payments to a T-Mobile preferred retailer who owns two Queens stores, at 138-40A 84th Drive in Briarwood and 134-11 Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park.

Singh said he kept receiving notifications from T-Mobile of unpaid bills totaling $1,400, even though he said the dealer at the stores assured him the invoices had been paid and the mistake would be fixed.

Instead, Singh said, the devious dealer, who owns and operates a company called Jagdeep Global Products, Inc., re-sent the payments twice to two wrong routing numbers.

Dozens of customers who united outside the shuttered Briarwood store last Thursday said the owner, and all his employees, have fled. The two Queens stores have been closed for at least two weeks, they said.

“The last three days, I haven’t been working because I’m looking for him,” Singh said. “I have no money in my pocket.”

A spokesperson for T-Mobile confirmed the fraudulent activity committed by the store owner and said the company apologizes to those affected and is taking “fast action” to correct the issues.

“We have worked together with the wholesaler responsible for the store and the owner has been replaced. Customers who feel they have been negatively impacted by their experience with either of these stores should contact T-Mobile customer service. T-Mobile will address each concern and will work to correct all related issues directly with our customers,” the spokesperson said.

The company would not disclose or confirm the name of the stores’ owner.

The 107th Precinct said there were no reports filed from the location, but said the issue could be a civil, not criminal, matter.

A swarm of customers said at least 300 people have been affected and are left struggling to pay off bills for services they never wanted.

Taliff Mohammed, 44, said he set up an account in January for three prepaid lines. Instead, the Briarwood T-Mobile vender signed him up for five contracted lines, he claims.

“When I brought it to their attention, they said it was a mistake on T-Mobile’s behalf and they said they would take care of it,” said the Ozone Park resident who also directly paid the vendor each month in cash. “I thought they were making the payments, but every other couple of weeks, my line used to get cut off. I would go back to them and it would be restored. They never paid the bills. They were sending checks that bounced.”

Mohammed said he heavily suspected fraud, but when he called T-Mobile, he said the company blew him off and said he was responsible for $1,271.92 in payments, including cancellation of lines the vendor added to his account without permission.

Harjeed Kaur, 45, of Briarwood said she was billed $2,000 for an account she already closed after vendors signed her up for five lines instead of the original three she asked for.

Calls to numbers listed for employees were either disconnected or went straight to voicemail. A number listed for Raj was “temporarily not in service.”

“We all trusted him,” Kaur said.

Truck driver arrested after allegedly assaulting Councilmember Daniel Dromm


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Daniel Dromm

While it is generally positive for officials to personally engage themselves in community issues, one councilmember’s involvement landed him as the victim of an assault.

Around noon on Wednesday, May 30, as Councilmember Daniel Dromm drove his car through Jackson Heights on the way back to his office, he saw an 18-wheel truck from National Farm double-parked, blocking traffic on 37th Avenue outside Trade Fair supermarket. Dromm said the truck driver was nowhere in sight, and he began snapping photos of the vehicle on his cell phone.

Upon seeing Dromm, the driver allegedly ran from around the truck and charged at him, repeatedly yelling, “no pictures!” before ripping the phone from his hand, striking him in the jaw and punching him in the chest.

Dromm said he yelled for help and was heard by workers in Congressmember Joseph Crowley’s nearby office, who then called the police. Dromm requested his cell phone back from the driver, identifying himself as an elected official. The driver refused to return it.

According to Dromm, when the police arrived they questioned the driver, identified by the district attorney’s office as John J Muriel. Muriel admitted he had Dromm’s phone, but would not say how he came to possess it.

Trade Fair manager Victor Fuentes was in the store when the incident took place, but alleged that he did not see anything when he went outside. Fuentes also said he has never had a problem like this in the past.

According to the DA, Muriel was arrested for assault in the third degree, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree and harassment in the second degree.

According to the councilmember, an ongoing Jackson Heights study, instituted three years ago, began looking at traffic issues including congestion, parking and numbers of pedestrians. The study involved around 500 people – more than had ever been engaged in a traffic study before in New York City. Dromm stated he wanted to add the photos of the poorly-parked truck to the study, furthering the public’s awareness of vehicular issues in the neighborhood.

“It’s a combination of all these things that have happened here,” said Dromm. “Things have gotten out of control. We’re going to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ We expect people who drive through and park in this neighborhood to abide by the law. That’s the minimal expectation. Blatant disregard for the law affects the quality of life here in the neighborhood.”

National Farm could not be reached for comment as of press time, and attempts to reach a Legal Aid attorney for Muriel were unsuccessful.

 

Police search for robbery and assault suspect in South Ozone Park


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Police are asking for the public’s help finding a suspect wanted for robbing and assaulting a teenager in South Ozone Park recently.

The suspect approached a car parked on 126th Street at approximately 1 a.m. on December 13 armed with a gun, according to police. After announcing a robbery, the suspect assaulted one of the victims, 16, with his gun, police said.  Following another passenger’s wallet and cell phone being taken, the car pulled away and the suspect fired at the vehicle, striking one of the passengers in the right shoulder.

The suspect is described by police as a black male between 35-40 years of age, standing between 5-feet-7-inches and 5-feet-10-inches tall, weighing approximately 170-180 pounds.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.