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The 109th Precinct recently took a time-out to remind the residents of Flushing, College Point and other communities to use common sense tactics against criminals. The iPhone 4 continues to be the most popular item stolen by perpetrators, who simply snatch the phone out of a user’s hand either on foot or on a bike, say police. “People are walking and talking on their phones, texting and they are completely oblivious to their surroundings,” said Officer Anthony Lo Verme, Crime Prevention Officer. “If you need to use your cell phone and you are out in public, step into a store or against a wall. Make sure nobody is casing you.”

Also, as explained by Lo Verme, perpetrators are waiting until dark to walk city streets, checking parked cars for personal property. If items like wallets, GPS units, laptops, cell phones and digital cameras are in plain sight, they will most likely be targeted by criminals. The best way to avoid being a victim is to remove all personal property of value from vehicles or put those items in the trunk. Police say this is especially true during the holiday season when consumers may leave large packages in their backseat.

Officers also wanted to remind the community about a typical burglary strategy that happens mostly in the day time. A potential home-invader can ring the doorbell or knock on multiple doors waiting for a non-response. In this case, a typical home invasion begins by going around the back of a home and trying to open windows and doors. If a resident does respond, the perpetrator may act confused about his whereabouts, according to police.

If there is a situation in which circumstances seem suspicious, the 109th Precinct is urging the community to call 9-1-1 and file a report. Also, video cameras, alarms or signs that alarms are in place are all effective deterrents.

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