Tag Archives: NYPD

Suspect arrested in string of LIC, Astoria restaurant break-ins


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

One man’s burglary spree has come to an end, as officers of the 114th and 108th precincts worked together to arrest him for allegedly breaking into businesses overnight in Long Island City and Astoria dating back to last June.

According to court records, each time 40-year-old Shameek Dunbar would break into the establishments through either a door or window, and once inside would take money, ranging from $20 to $1,000, from cash registers.

Dunbar was arrested on Feb. 25 at his home in Queensbridge when forensics evidence linked him to one of four burglaries in the confines of the 114th Precinct, a police source said.

Subsequent investigation linked him to seven more burglaries, these in the confines of the 108th Precinct.

“This was fantastic detective work,” said Capt. John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct. “It was good working together from both precincts.”

Criminal complaints detailed nine of the 11 incidents:

  • Between June 10, 2014, at 9 p.m. and June 11 at 9:30 a.m., Dunbar broke into Andres Pizza located at 25-19 40th Ave. through a glass door. He is observed through surveillance footage cutting wires on a cash register, worth about $450. The store owner alleges that $20 was taken from the register.
  • On Oct. 24, 2014, Dunbar broke into Tequila Sunrise located at 40-01 Northern Blvd. through a side window. The owner alleged $350 was taken from a cash register.
  • Between Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 3:12 a.m., the suspect entered Barista at 11-11 44th Rd. through a front glass door. Surveillance footage shows Dunbar throwing a rock at the door. He later took money.
  • On Jan. 2 between 3:04 and 4:18 a.m. Dunbar entered Hu Department Store located at 47-09 Northern Blvd. through the front door. Although the store owner alleged $1,000 was missing from the register, Dunbar said he tried to open the register but couldn’t and then left.
  • Between Jan. 18 at 11 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 4 a.m. Dunbar entered a business at 47-29 Vernon Blvd. through a window and surveillance shows him trying to pry open a register.
  • On Jan. 24 between 3:35 a.m. and 4:05 a.m. Dunbar broke into Pachanga Patterson located at 33-17 31st Ave. The store owner alleges $200 was missing from a cash register.
  • Between Jan. 31 at 10 p.m. and Feb. 1 at 3:17 a.m. the suspect broke into Petey’s Burger at 46-46 Vernon Blvd. through a side window. Surveillance footage shows him prying open a register and taking money.
  • Between Feb. 12 at 8:30 a.m. and Feb. 13 at 11:45 a.m., the suspect entered Breadbox Café at 47-11 11th St. through a door. He the used a screwdriver to pry open a register and took $300.
  • Between Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 22 at 3:45 a.m. the suspect entered Mix Nail Salon at 44-68 21st St. through the glass front door. Surveillance video shows the suspect entering the location, prying open a register and taking money.

Dunbar is facing charges of burglary, criminal mischief, possession of burglar tools, petit larceny, and for one of the incidents a charge of grand larceny.

He is due back in Queens Criminal Court on April 9. 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

NYPD changes commanders at 102nd, 104th and 110th precincts


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of 110th Precinct Community Council

The NYPD shuffled the deck among its commanding officers at three local precincts this week.

Capt. Christopher Manson, who led the Ridgewood-based 104th Precinct for more than two years, was reassigned to command the 110th Precinct based in Elmhurst. Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, who spent the last three years at the 110th Precinct, moved on to the NYPD Queens North Detective Bureau based in Forest Hills.

Leyson bid farewell to residents, while Manson made his introduction to them, during Thursday’s 110th Precinct Community Council meeting in Corona. Both officials took to Twitter to extend their gratitude to the communities they served.

“I have been transferred to the 110 Pct and wish to thank the officers of the 104th Pct and the community for 2 years of pleasure and honor,” Manson tweeted.

“To my 3,200 followers, thank you for helping me share important info, good work & events of the 110th Pct (I had some fun with it, too),” Leyson tweeted. “As my final tweet – to the men & women of the #110Pct -it has been my honor & privilege to work with you-thank you for making a difference!”

Meanwhile, a familiar face took the reins at the 104th Precinct: Capt. Mark Wachter, who as recently as 2010 served as the precinct’s special operations coordinator. Most recently, he led the NYPD’s special Citi Field command, which coordinates policing at the home of the New York Mets.

Additionally, the NYPD named Deputy Inspector Deodat Urprasad, formerly commander of investigations at NYPD Patrol Borough Manhattan South, as the 102nd Precinct’s new commander. Urprasad takes the reins at the Richmond Hill-based command from Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, who moved on to the NYPD Brooklyn Detective Bureau after more than two years of service at the 102.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Ridgewood shooting victim walks into hospital, later dies of injuries


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Freshpond/Wikimedia Commons

Updated Tuesday, March 17, 10:30 a.m. 

Detectives continue to seek the suspect who fatally shot a 21-year-old Bushwick man on a Ridgewood street early Saturday morning.

Law enforcement sources said an unidentified perpetrator shot Eric Santiago of Himrod Street in front of a location on Palmetto Street between Cypress and St. Nicholas avenues, adjacent to the Arena Pool Hall, just before 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Santiago was transported by private means to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he walked into the emergency room seeking care, police said. He died at the hospital hours later while undergoing treatment.

Law enforcement sources said the unidentified shooter, who was last seen fleeing on foot westbound along Palmetto Street, was wearing dark clothing and a dark jacket with the letters “USA” on the back.

This marks the first homicide in the 104th Precinct this year. The last took place in March 2014, when a couple was murdered in their Ridgewood apartment.

The 104th Precinct Detective Squad is investigating the Santiago case.

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Cops seek suspects in Forest Hills, Rego Park business burglaries


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have released a photo of a man wanted for questioning in a burglary pattern at businesses in Rego Park and Forest Hills dating back to January.

The most recent burglary occurred on March 4 at the Key Food supermarket at 92-02 63rd Dr. in Rego Park after breaking into the market’s side door, police said.

Authorities said the crooks also visited that day the Da Mikelle II Restaurant, located at 102-53 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, broke through a rear door and removed an undetermined amount of money.

The person of interest is pictured in a security camera image taken at a nearby 7-Eleven shortly after the March 4 burglaries, authorities said.

Police described the six other incidents in the burglary pattern as follows:

  • On Jan. 24, the burglars broke through the rear wall of the Knish Nosh restaurant at 100-30 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills and removed kitchen utensils and cash.
  • The following day, Jan. 25, burglars broke through the rear door of the Midorinatsu Hibachi restaurant at 111-16 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills and stole cash, an ASIS laptop computer and two safe boxes.
  • On Feb. 18, the suspects entered through a skylight at the Rainbow store at 63-22 Austin St. in Rego Park and removed assorted drugs.
  • On Feb. 26, the burglars unsuccessfully attempted to break through the rear door of Colony Drugs and Surgical at 103-19 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills.
  • The next day, Feb. 27, the crooks also failed in attempts to break into two Rego Park restaurants: Vstrecha at 98-98 Queens Blvd. and Nasicha at 98-92 63rd Dr.

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.

 RECOMMENDED STORIES

Pair wanted for slashing man’s throat in Ridgewood hate crime


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police released the video of two suspects wanted for slicing a 24-year-old man’s throat on a Ridgewood street early Thursday morning in an attack authorities are calling a bias crime.

The assault occurred at 2:20 a.m. in the vicinity of Seneca and Gates avenues.

According to law enforcement sources, the victim and a female acquaintance were walking through the area when a suspect — described as a Hispanic male between 25 and 30 years old and 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build  — ran up to the victim.

The male suspect allegedly said in Spanish, “I’m going to kill you white boy,” then slashed the man’s throat with an unidentified object.


The perpetrator and his companion — described as a Hispanic female between 25 and 30 years old and 5 feet 4 inches tall — then fled.

Officers from the 104th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he received numerous stitches.

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.

 RECOMMENDED STORIES

Pair wanted for stealing from Richmond Hill RadioShack


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Kicking RadioShack while it’s already down, a pair of suspects shoplifted from its Richmond Hill location, taking merchandise right off store shelves before fleeing, police said.

The duo, a woman and man, entered the electronics store, located at 113-20 Liberty Ave., on Feb. 18 at about 5 p.m., according to authorities. While the woman distracted the store employee, her partner removed merchandise from the shelves and placed them into a bag. They then fled.

Police describe the two suspects as a black woman with long hair wearing a brown jacket, and a black man wearing a black ski hat and black jacket.

Though numerous RadioShack locations in Queens and throughout the U.S. are slated to close by the end of the month, the Richmond Hill store is not one of them.

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Suspect nabbed in Ridgewood bank holdup could be linked to other robberies: police


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Detectives continue to investigate whether a suspected bank robber picked up in Ridgewood Tuesday is linked to a recent heist pattern within the 104th Precinct.

Reuben McLaughlin, 24, of Brooklyn, reportedly held up the Capital One branch at 70-01 Forest Ave. just before 11:40 a.m. Tuesday morning.

According to law enforcement sources, McLaughlin approached a teller and passed a note demanding cash. He also threatened to shoot the worker if his demands were not met.

Police said McLaughlin received $1,070 in cash, then fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Officers from the 104th Precinct were alerted to the robbery and, during a search of the surrounding area, located McLaughlin, authorities said.

In recent weeks, police have been looking for a man responsible for five bank robberies at three locations in Ridgewood and Middle Village dating back to last November, including the Capital One on Forest Avenue; the Capital One at 74-11 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village; and the Astoria Bank at 75-25 Metropolitan Ave.

Additional charges against McLaughlin are pending the results of the ongoing investigation, police said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Cabbie hangs on as carjacker steals ride in Ridgewood


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Police continue to search for a carjacker who allegedly led a livery cab driver on a wild ride through Ridgewood early Saturday morning.

The attack occurred at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday in front of a location on Myrtle Avenue near Wyckoff Avenue in Ridgewood.

Earlier, according to police, the 36-year-old driver, while operating a white Toyota Camry with TLC plates, picked up the suspect — described as a bald-headed Hispanic man believed to be 34 years old, 6 feet 1 inches tall and 160 pounds — at the corner of Broadway and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.

The passenger then told the suspect to drive to the Ridgewood location.

Upon pulling over in Ridgewood at about 4:30 a.m., authorities said, the passenger choked the driver and forced him out of the car. The driver allegedly hopped onto the hood of the car as the suspect got behind the wheel and began to drive away.

According to police, the victim hung onto the hood while the crook drove eastbound on Myrtle Avenue for several blocks. After he got off the hood at the corner of Putnam and Myrtle avenues, the suspect sped away inside the cab.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the scene. The victim was not injured.

Police said the victim’s wallet, along with two iPhones and more than $1,000 in cash, were taken along with the vehicle.

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

NYPD’s first deputy commissioner honored at Black History Month celebration


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy the office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer

Members of the NYPD, including First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, and local community leaders were honored for all their achievements during an annual Black History Month celebration in Long Island City.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosted his fifth annual Black History Month Celebration and Awards Night on Thursday night at the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, located at 10-25 41st Ave. within the Queensbridge Houses.

During the event, attended by over 250 guests, Van Bramer presented a Distinguished Public Service Award to Tucker, who serves as the first deputy commissioner for the NYPD.

Other honorees of the night included Dolores Chauncey from Friends of Queensbridge Park; Captain Mark Simmons, commanding officer of PSA-9; Jacqueline Williams from the Ravenswood Senior Center; Judith Mitchell of NYCHA Family Services; Brian McMichael, owner of Miriam’s Restaurant in LIC; Vanessa Hayes; Daniel Taylor, treasurer of the Queensbridge Old Timers; and Dionne Jaggon, principal of P.S. 111 in LIC.

The celebration also featured performances by ELSCO Dance, the Queensbridge Senior Shakers and the Bryant High School Dance Company.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Suspect wanted in burglary of Flushing auto repair shop


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted in connection to a burglary of a Flushing auto repair shop on Valentine’s Day.

The suspect, described as a man in his 20s, forced his way into 43 Auto Service, located at 133-28 32nd Ave., on Feb. 14 at about 1:22 a.m. by using a wooden pallet as a ladder and breaking into the side window, cops said. Once inside, he removed an undetermined amount of money and various New York State inspection stickers.

He was last seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt, baseball cap and gloves.

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Four men wanted in robbery of East Elmhurst luxury car service company


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Cops are looking for suspects wanted in connection with a robbery of a luxury car service company last week in East Elmhurst.

On Feb. 19 at about 10 p.m., three suspects entered Stride Limo Inc. at 23-57 83rd St. One of the suspects showed a firearm and demanded money from a 48-year-old victim, police said. The suspects then took the victim’s cellphone and wallet, which contained credit cards and miscellaneous items.

A fourth suspect acted as a lookout for the group, according to cops, and all four men later fled in a dark-colored minivan with unknown Florida license plates.

Police describe the first suspect as a black man who is between 20 to 30 years old, around 6 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a dark winter coat with light-colored lining on the hood, dark blue jeans and tan boots.

The three other suspects are described as black men, 20 to 30 years old and between 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 3 inches tall.

Rear view of the first suspect.

Rear view of the first suspect.

The NYPD has released photos of the first suspect and two of the other three men.

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Pols continue push for law change after another Queens hit-and-run


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Local elected officials are hoping a change in the law will prevent unlicensed drivers from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and avoid yet another death.

In response to a fatal hit-and-run in Elmhurst on Sunday, which took the life of a 26-year-old woman, state Senator Michael Gianaris gathered with local officials and advocacy groups on Tuesday morning at the site of the crash to reintroduce legislation he put forth more than a year ago.

The change in law would make it a felony if drivers with suspended licenses either seriously injure or kill someone with their vehicle. The proposal, included in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero agenda, would also include immediate impoundment of a vehicle involved in such accidents.

“Unfortunately we’re here for something that should have been done a while ago but has yet to be done,” Gianaris said. “We’re now for the third time in little over a year in western Queens alone dealing with an incident where someone who did not have a proper license to drive has hit and killed someone.”

According to the NYPD, the victim was struck at about 10:40 p.m. on Sunday at the intersection of 76th Street and Woodside Avenue as she attempted to cross the intersection.

A Mitsubishi box truck was traveling southbound on 76th Street and was making a left turn onto Woodside Avenue when it hit the woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The driver fled after striking the woman, but an eyewitness reportedly chased down the truck. The driver, 27-year-old Valentine Gonzalez, was nabbed just blocks away, at 73rd Street and 41st Avenue, and taken into custody, cops said.

Under the current law, Gonzalez has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death and driving without a license.

“After yet another hit-and-run by an unlicensed driver, it’s time that New Yorkers stood up and said that enough is enough,” Assemblyman Francisco Moya said. “Current laws are not tough enough if reckless drivers, like Valentine Gonzalez, are still able to drive on our streets. How many more fatalities will there be before we say the laws must be changed?”

The proposed bill, which is co-sponsored by state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, was initially introduced following the 2013 fatal accident in Woodside where 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was struck on his way to school at P.S. 152.

“It’s time for the punishment to fit the crime. If you get behind the wheel when you’re not authorized to do so and you kill somebody or you injure somebody you should go to jail. That way we will keep it from happening again in the future,” Gianaris said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton talks community relations in southeast Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called for stronger ties between police and the community during a speech in Jamaica on Tuesday, when he outlined plans for greater collaboration and   alternatives to making arrests for first-time minor crimes while also recognizing law enforcement’s role in “many of the worst parts of black history.”

At a Black History Month event at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica, he said that the NYPD has made tremendous strides with regards to crime prevention but that there is always room for improvement. He said that new programs started by himself and Mayor de Blasio will help to do so and will have a “dynamic effect on the level and quality of policing.”

“Despite our accomplishments we’ve made in the past years, police actions can still be a flashpoint,” said Bratton. “The NYPD needs to face the hard truth [that] in our most vulnerable neighborhoods we have a problem with citizen satisfaction.”

Bratton mentioned some of these “hard truths” that the police have to realize and deal with. He said that “many of the worst parts of black history would not have been possible without police,” citing law enforcement’s role dating back to the days of slavery.

Bratton said that not recognizing this as an issue would not only be naive but reckless and irresponsible.

But he also mentioned that “far more often than not, many of the best parts of America’s history wouldn’t have been possible without police,” saying they are the protectors of such freedoms like those of speech and religion.

When asked about going back to community policing, a method that was scrutinized in the early ’90s for not being effective against historically high crime rates, Bratton simply replied that he doesn’t think the NYPD has ever gotten away from the strategy. He described the policing method using three “P’s” that he said the NYPD still practice today: partnership, problem solving and prevention.

The commissioner finished by saying that ultimately, policing is a shared responsibility: having the police and community work together will ultimately lead to a better and safer New York City.

“We cannot change the past but working together we can change our future,” Bratton said. “We all need to work together. All of us.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Astoria man with signs of Alzheimer’s missing for over a week


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police and family members are searching for a 63-year-old man who suffers from various mental disorders after he went missing from near his Astoria home last week without shoes or a jacket.

Philip Arabadjis, who is about 5 feet 11 inches tall, 290 pounds, and has brown and grey hair, was last seen near his home on 20th Avenue and 20th Street on Feb. 12 wearing a blue flannel shirt with black sweatpants, according to police. He has a medical history of schizophrenia, diabetes and signs of Alzheimer’s.

According to a missing poster, Arabadjis, who has no identification on him, is not aware of where he lives or his name and may be unresponsive to questions and look lost.

People are asked to check buildings, alleyways, or other possible places that can serve as hiding spots. He also enjoys walking in Astoria Park. 

Arabadjis’ daughter, Heather, has set up a Facebook page for her father called “Findphil” where she posts updates on the search for her dad. 

Poster via Findphil Facebook page

Poster via Findphil Facebook page

On Thursday, she posted that she has checked homeless shelters and hospitals. She also added that if her father is not found by Friday, she plans to organize a search for him on Saturday.

“I can’t say this enough, but I feel warm inside because of all the help and support I am getting from my friends and new people I have been meeting,” she wrote on Facebook. 

A $10,000 reward is been offered for any information that leads to finding Arabadjis. 

If you have any information call 911 or the 114th Precinct at 718-626-9335 with case #2015-349 or complaint report #2015-114-01280.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Woodhaven man arrested for dealing drugs below parents’ day care: police sources


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

A Woodhaven man was busted Thursday for dealing drugs out of his home located below a day care center run by his parents, police sources said.

Officers from the NYPD Queens Narcotics Squad executed a search warrant at about 5:15 a.m. at the My Precious Moments day care facility at 85-09 88th Ave.

The raid was part of a two-month investigation into drug sales that 24-year-old Michael Gomez allegedly conducted out of his basement apartment at the location. In one instance, police said, Gomez sold unspecified drugs to an undercover officer as parents picked up their children from the facility.

Gomez and a friend — 23-year-old Selestino Rodriguez of Bleecker Street in Ridgewood — were in the basement apartment when police arrived Thursday morning.

In searching the apartment, officers recovered 7 ounces of Molly, 4 ounces of marijuana and more than $2,400 in cash.

Detectives took Gomez and Rodriguez into custody at the scene. Both were charged with felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of criminal sale of marijuana. Gomez was additionally charged with child endangerment, criminal sale of marijuana and criminal sale of a controlled substance.

According to sources, My Precious Moments opened in May 2009 and cares for 16 children—12 of whom are between 6 weeks and 12 years old. No one at the daycare responded to calls for comment.

RECOMMENDED STORIES