Tag Archives: pickpocket

Pickpocket targets women at Flushing stores: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A serial pickpocket is going after female shoppers in the busy Main Street-Roosevelt Avenue area of Flushing — swiping their cellphones, cash and credit cards since late January, police said.

Each time, the suspect steals the woman’s valuables from her pocket or handbag while she is shopping or making a purchase.


According to police, the suspect is wanted in nine thefts, all of which took place at the J-Mart supermarket located at 136-20 Roosevelt Ave. or at other businesses within about a few blocks of that store:

  • On Jan. 29, at 8:30 p.m., the suspect approached a 22-year-old woman as she was shopping at a Duane Reade located at 136-02 Roosevelt Ave. and took her wallet containing an undetermined amount of cash and various credit cards.
  • On Feb. 8, at 5:20 p.m., the suspect approached a 29-year-old woman as she was shopping at J-Mart, and removed her iPhone 6 from her jacket pocket.
  • On Feb. 10, at 9 a.m., a 77-year-old woman was shopping at J-Mart when she was bumped into by an unknown person, causing her vegetables to fall to the floor. As the victim approached the checkout counter, she discovered that her wallet, which contained cash and various cards, had been stolen.
  • On Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m., the suspect came up to a 30-year-old woman as she was shopping at the Jiang City Supermarket located at 40-38 Main St. and removed her wallet from her bag containing $300 and various credit cards.
  • On Feb. 27, at 5:30 p.m., the suspect came up to a 56-year-old woman as she was shopping in front of a market located at 40-34 Main St. and removed her wallet from her bag containing cash and various cards.
  • On March 2, at 2:30 p.m., the suspect approached a 65-year-old woman as she was shopping at the CJ Supermarket located at 40-33 Main St. and removed her wallet from her bag containing cash and various cards.
  • On March 3, at 12 p.m., the suspect approached a 28-year-old woman as she was buying coffee at a Starbucks located at 38-05 Main St. and removed her iPhone 6 with a case containing various credit cards from her bag.
  • On March 3, at 12:30 p.m., the suspect came up to a 41-year-old female victim as she was shopping at EW Studio located at 41-40 Kissena Blvd., and took her iPhone from her bag.
  • On March 8, at 1 p.m., the suspect approached a 65-year-old woman as she was shopping at the CJ Supermarket located at 40-33 Main St., and removed her wallet from her bag containing cash and various cards.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic man in his 40s and have released a video from the Feb. 8 incident at J-Mart.

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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Police amp up efforts to reduce grand larcenies in downtown Flushing


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Police are beefing up efforts to protect downtown Flushing shoppers from pickpockets ahead of the Lunar New Year, as grand larcenies have more than doubled since last year.

“We will be taking extra precaution, with the community carrying lots of money,” said Inspector Brian Maguire, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct.

A command post vehicle will be stationed outside the Flushing branch of the Queens Library over the weekend, at the start of new year celebrations, Maguire said.

The precinct has also amped up awareness initiatives and held a crime prevention seminar Tuesday for local business owners.

Officers played surveillance footage of pickpockets to show how fast the crime can occur when property is unattended or victims are unaware.

“In the blink of an eye, your bag is gone,” said Captain Tommy Ng, the precinct’s executive officer.

Last year, the precinct saw a 53 percent increase in grand larcenies from 2012, Maguire said.

The crime, which includes credit-card fraud, phone thefts and shoplifting, is still rising.

Grand larcenies in the precinct have spiked more than 56 percent so far since last year, jumping from 48 to 75 incidents in the first three weeks of January to date, an NYPD spokesperson said.

Maguire said a partnership between the NYPD and local businesses could whittle down rising numbers.

Officials from the Chung Fat Supermarket on Main Street recently helped officers arrest a pickpocket with an extensive criminal history, he said.

“I truly believe that working together, we can achieve great things,” Maguire said. “We will make Flushing safer, trust me. We all should have this as a common goal.”

Ng warned diners not to hang their purses over chairs at restaurants or bars. He also told store owners to be wary of people who reappear multiple times without making a purchase.

“That should raise a flag immediately,” Ng said. “He is not your customer. He is in your store to commit a crime.”

 

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