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Break-Ins & Stolen Cars Prevalent, Says Captain

Thieves focused on vehicles in the 112th Precinct this past month, leaving vehicles on cinder blocks or stealing them altogether, according to the force’s commander who spoke during the 112th Precinct Community Council meeting last Wednesday, June 18 at the precinct’s Forest Hills stationhouse.

The week of June 9 saw a 50 percent spike in auto-related crimes, including four auto break-ins and five auto thefts, explained Capt. Thomas Conforti, the 104th Precinct’s commanding officer. Perpetrators are targeting 2012-2014 Honda Civics for their upgraded rims and tires which can be resold to chop shops from between $1,000 and $5,000.

Conforti likened the thefts to a NASCAR driver pulling into the pit for a change in the middle of a race. Wth today’s technology, he stated, it can take someone all of three minutes to take off car tires and put the chassis on cinder blocks.

Residents are also leaving their vehicle doors unlocked with pocketbooks, laptops, wires, and valuables in plain sight. Conforti reminded residents at the meeting to simply lock their doors; all four auto break-ins could have been avoided had the owners secured their vehicle.

Motorcycles are also being targeted by thieves, as nine motorcycles have been stolen so far this year, seven more than all of 2013. Thieves are removing the back seats in minivans and rolling the motorcycles into the back.

Conforti noted that while 60 auto thefts in 2013 is too high, they’ve come a long way since 3,500 thefts in 1990.

Overall crime is down 15 percent. Conforti said, adding “[that’s] 50 less victims of a crime that this time last year.”

Sick leave law

A representative from the NYC Department of Consumers Affairs (DCA) informed attendees of the city’s latest Paid Sick Leave Law.

Starting July 30, employers with five or more employees who work more than 80 hours a year, are required to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours a year. Sick leave pay must be equal to the employees regular pay rate and no less than eight dollars an hour.

On July 16, the DCA is looking for 1,000 volunteers in a city wide day of action to inform New Yorkers of the new law. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/dca.

Essay contest winners

Winners for the 112th Precinct Community Council essay contest for grades six through 12 were announced at Wednesday’s meeting.

The topic was on diversity and how living in Queens should encourage greater awareness and understanding of diversity. It was in light of the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair and Borough President Melinda Katz declaring Queens as the “World’s Borough.”

Third place was awarded to Olivia Ross, second place to Zorana Dragasevic, and first place was given to Celia Damato.

Chain, Det. Gigi Redzemetovic of the 112th Precinct Community Affairs Unit and Assistant Chief Diana Pizzuti, commander of NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North, were among the judges.

Other news

Chain was awarded by Conforti with a plaque in recognition of her service to the community for over a decade.

The 112th Precinct is celebrating its National Night Out Against Crime Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. at MacDonald Park in Forest Hills. They will have free music, food, arts and crafts, safety information, and children’s activities.

The 112th Precinct Community Council will not meet in July and August. Its next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the stationhouse located at the corner of Austin Street and Yellowstone Boulevard. For more information, call the Community Affairs Unit at 1-718-520-9321, or follow the 112th Precinct on Twitter, @NYPD112Pct.

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