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At the 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday, October 18, officer Heriberto Rodriguez received the Cop of the Month award for his successful pursuit and arrest of two teen burglars in Richmond Hill.

Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Armando DeLeon, presented Rodriguez with the award. DeLeon said burglary is the second highest crime in the precinct after grand larcenies.

“I’m glad he took two burglars off the street,” DeLeon said. “It helps me, and of course it helps you and the community.”

The crime occurred on September 27 at 103rd Avenue and 114th Street. After receiving the report, Rodriguez and his lieutenant canvassed the area and discovered one of the suspects. When the first suspect fled, Rodriguez chased and captured him, while his lieutenant captured the second suspect.

Jewelry, electronic equipment and clothing were found in the burglars’ possession. Both teen criminals have prior arrest records, DeLeon said.

While Community Council President Maria Thomson praised the 102nd Precinct on their “fantastic job” serving the community, she firmly implored a push for more police officers in Queens. She said Queens “always gets shortchanged” in getting its fair share of police recruits, in contrast to other boroughs like Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“You can only stretch police officers so far,” Thomson said.

She urged councilmembers in particular to “fight for us and get us more police officers from the next graduating class.”

The meeting also covered resident complaints, one of which was about a truck that runs all night on Saturdays between 102nd and 106th Street on Atlantic Avenue. DeLeon, who said he will address the situation, also cited the precinct’s crackdown on illegally-parked trucks, especially on 127th Street. He said more than 30 summonses were issued.

“Those trucks over there got the message,” he said.

A rowdy night club called Club Moka located on 130-35 91st Avenue was also the subject of many complaints. One resident said her neighbor saw a woman being pushed into a car two weeks prior.

DeLeon stated that the club’s new management has been put on notice at least three times. He said the situation is now in the State Liquor Authority’s hands, although he said he would do as much as he could to help.

Another resident expressed concerns that various locations in Woodhaven are becoming stomping grounds for disorderly conduct, and was worried that the increasing number of abandoned homes in the area could become havens for more bad behavior.

“We all know what happened in the past. In an abandoned house, there was a party in Woodhaven, and a poor young boy got murdered,” the resident said.

Rape whistles were also supplied at the meeting. DeLeon urged women to take them, stating that “they really do work.”

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